Am I going to rage to CCP about it? Nope. I'm sorry about all of the people impacted by this issue. I was impacted by it myself and spent a while on a work-around before figuring it out. Software has bugs and unforeseen problems from time to time. While I understand the anger, I don't share it, and I'm not going to get on CCP's case about it. If you're going to get annoyed with CCP, get annoyed with them for stuff they do on purpose. ;-) Onward.
Nope, what I thought it'd be fun to talk about today are the XL weapons re-balancing changes announced by CCP Fozzie just before the weekend. I've spent a lot of time thinking about it and talking with players about it. Let me start with the summary. I think feihcsiM (I see what you did there) has the right of it in his post on Fozzie's thread about the issue. To summarize:
DREADS BEST TO WORST PRE-PATCHI happen to disagree with his order. I think the Naglfar will be passing the Revelation thanks to several factors which I'll get to presently. But those of you posting "RIP Moros" or asking if you should still train the Moros aren't thinking the issue through. The simple fact is that the Moros is so much better than the other three dreadnoughts right now that only a major top-down re-balance of the entire class is going to address the balance issues. While, say, adding 25% to the damage of capital missiles would be satisfying to Phoenix pilots, without balancing the rest of the ship, the Phoenix is still going to be wildly sub-par to the other dreads in virtually every respect.
DREADS BEST TO WORST POST-PATCH
Give capital missiles a damage buff and there might be some in CCP that would say "That's good enough for another :18months:. Let's turn our attention to other things." I think we've all heard this before somewhere. Silly as it sounds, I'd rather have the Phoenix still sitting there, being bad and embarrassing people as a way to motivate the ship balancing team to do this right. This probably makes me a bad person. ;-)
Fozzie, CCP Ytterbium and CCP Rise are smart guys and know about the problems. Hell, I wouldn't put it past Fozzie to do it this way on purpose. And no, I haven't asked him. He's such a nice guy he might tell me the truth.
OK, why do I think the Naglfar is now second to the Moros? Five reasons:
- Better damage output for what a lot of people actually use dreads for, i.e. small-scale cap fights and structure bashes.
- Opens up the terrifying possibility of blap dreads used against other capitals.
- Tunable damage.
- Few/no cap dependencies actually makes them tougher in combat.
- (Once things settle down.) Cheaper.
But the Moros is still better. Typically in EVE, dreads attack structures; a large POS attack takes place at 30km. A typical Moros fit for this task with triple faction Magnetic Field Stabilizers, CONCORD guns, no Tracking Enhancers and an expert pilot aboard does about 15500 DPS at 30km. His optimal with anti-matter will be 27km, meaning that the vast majority of shots at 30km are going to hit and hit hard. With a 30km falloff, DPS drops to 5000 at 57km. With this change, optimal will drop to 17km, but fall-off will be extended to 40km. That means damage at 57km is going to be about the same and the DPS curve will drop more slowly.
Today with this ship, you lose about 2000 DPS 10km beyond optimal but with the longer fall-off I think we can expect the loss with anti-matter at 30km to be no more than 1000 DPS or so, to about 14500. Yes, you can downshift to Plutonium and yes, that will certainly help. But I think it's going to drop your DPS to about 14000 at 30km. In short, anti-matter still looks to be the way to go. Yes, more of your shots will miss. But the percentage that will miss will be made up by the increased damage of those that hit and you'll still be coming out ahead in structure bashes.
And you're still going to be exceeding Naglfar and Rev damage except under very specialized situations.
I can't speak to capital-on-capital fights, having only been in a handful of them, but in my experience those take place at much closer ranges than 30km and so this change isn't going to affect the Moros at all. What about tracking? Obviously, the 15% tracking nerf that XL blasters is receiving is aimed at the famous "blap dread": Moroses fit with double tracking computers intended to slay webbed-down battleships in large fights. Again, having run the numbers and thought about the situation, I conclude that the nerf is not going to be sufficient to end these tactics but can't be made any higher without impacting the occasional Erebus gun-fight. In particular, the heavy webs often brought to bear in this situation have more of an impact on the targets than the tracking of the dreadnought itself does.
In short, it's not much of a nerf. It addresses some of the issue and might cause a Moros pilot here or there to fit faction Tracking Computers. But it's not going to put an end to the tactic. A full rebalance of the dreadnought is going to be needed to address this issue as well, in my opinion.
So anyone breathing into a paper bag over this can relax. The Moros is still the best dread and is likely to remain so for a while to come yet. Anyone who spent a lot of time training them can be confident in their training, and anyone asking which dread to train? There you go.