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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Friday, May 17, 2013

In the navy

The navy battleships have a weird distinction for me in my play of EVE Online: at one time or another in my career, I have owned and flown every single one of them.  That's not a claim that I can make for any other group of ships in the game.(1)  They're not my favorite group of ships in the game -- that distinction goes to the battle cruisers, and T2 cruisers after them.  But navy BSs are such ferocious ships, and relatively inexpensive for how good they are.  That makes buying them an easy choice for me.  So I was obviously delighted when I heard they were going to be rebalanced for Odyssey.

Amusingly enough, the best change to the navy BSs of all isn't even in CCP Rise's thread on the matter but instead is brought forth by CCP Ytterbium:
Ah yes, this makes me remember to tell you guys something that should make you happy - we're going to increase calibration on all Navy Ships from 350 to 400. While it makes sense for Tech2 hulls to have less rig sots due to the specialized nature of the ships, Navy hulls are supposed to be an improvement over Tech1, but is not always the case right now due to rig / calibration restrictions.
I cannot possibly express how happy that makes me.  There are several ships that are going to benefit hugely from that, notably the Navy Raven and Dominix, both of which lose access to excellent fitting options thanks to their current 350 calibration.  Kudos to that change!

As for the changes to the ships themselves?  All eight of these ships are being fundamentally improved and with a couple of exceptions, I'm pleased with all of the changes.  I catch flak sometimes when I classify ships as "losers" (sorry about that, Hyperion) in these re-balance posts but keep in mind when I buy a car, I'm not comparing the 2013 Honda Accord to the 2012 Honda Accord... I'm comparing it to its 2013 competition from other makes and models.  And by that metric, all eight of these ships are winners.

Just some more than others.  ;-)  So I'm going to list them in the order that I'm looking forward to flying them.

#1: Scorpion Navy Issue.  Good Heavens, this thing is a monster.  It picks up an additional low slot (like the T1 Scorp) and even more base shields.  That, combined with the cruise missile buff and the calibration buff, vaults this one right to the top of the navy BSs.  PvPers will have their choice of a full T2 torp fit, plus a heavy neut, MWD and MJD, or whatever CML fit they want.  Shield brawling battleship gang... it might actually become a thing!  PvEers -- particularly incursion-runners -- have to be smiling ear-to-ear about this one between the large amount of extra damage, calibration, and CML speed.  The SNI is almost too good.

#2: Typhoon Fleet Issue.  In a way, this is a bit of a troll, the Typhoon Fleet Issue slipping right into the Tempest's old role as a fast, nasty battleship with high DPS and two utility high slots.  Know what?  Don't care.  Like the T1 Mega, we're going to be seeing a dozen fantastic TFI fits each better than the last, some shield, some armor, all awesome.  In particular, the Tempest never had that 125m3 drone bay.

#3: Raven Navy Issue.  That stuff I said about the SNI?  It also applies to the CNR.  PvPers will be using the extra mid to fit a MJD, and their buffed cruise missiles will be outrunning and spiking interceptors, particularly with Precision loads.  That's scary stuff.  Torp CNRs are also going to be fun as hell.  And you L4 Caldari missioners that aren't in this boat starting with Odyssey will be doing it incredibly wrong.  "This ship is going to be an animal," Rise says.  Yup.

#4: Armageddon Navy Issue.  With the T1 Geddon getting bounced around, the "Neddon" vaults for me into the position of the preeminent brawling battleship.  Biggest changes are the increase in sensor strength (Neddons have always been vulnerable to jamming out their already huge DPS) and base armor.  The latter should make a 200k EHP Neddon quite achievable... which will still be doing horrific DPS at close range.  The upsized drone bay is quite nice (though I would have been happer with 250m3).  I've had an occasional running argument with alliance-mate Ben Booley about the Neddon versus the Mega Navy Issue.  I reluctantly agreed that the Mega was slightly superior, mostly because the thinner Mega could cut through the Neddon armor before it went down.  The balance will be tipping to the Neddon's favor for Odyssey.

#5: Apocalypse Navy Issue.  I'm conflicted about this one.  Like its T1 counter-part, I'm not a big fan of the changes in cap and I think it renders this one too close to the Abaddon in capabilities, performance, and cost.  The buffs to mass and signature, while nice, are not going to off-set the usability issues.  The tracking bonus worries me.  Every Amarr BS these days fits double Tracking Computers so that opens up the very real possibility that Napocs will be blapping inties right off BS fleets.  The changes particularly hurt mid-range L4 mission-runners who rely on the Napoc's cap stability in all regimens.  If they could fit a full rack of Tachyons that would be one thing, but unless my math is wrong, they can't without the same fitting mod they need today.  Again, I'm conflicted about this one.  It's too good in some ways, too weird in others.  I can see what the intent was here, but it needs more tweaking, IMO.

#6: Dominix Navy Issue.  This one falls firmly in the middle.  I'm a huge fan of the throwback nature of the beast (it has this in common with the Neddon).  The buff to power grid is quite nice, which are going to make Neutron DNIs quite achieveable.  But the biggest buff is to calibration, which is going to make fitting that T2 Sentry Damage Augmentor rig possible.  Alternately, for PvE applications, double CCC/Sentry Damage Augmentor rig setups will also be possible, which is going to free up a mid slot for any number of possible uses.

#7: Tempest Fleet Issue.  Like the Tempest, the TFI was slightly over-powered relative to the others so it doesn't surprise me to see it's the least changed.  The slight tweaks to fitting will be welcomed by newer players who are using this ship.  I wonder who those might be?

#8: Megathron Navy Issue.  While I love love love the mass decrease, I don't understand the decrease in base armor, and I'm quite sad about it not receiving the 5th mid slot that its T1 counterpart will be enjoying.  The ROF bonus will make it an even more withering attack platform and as such it's a distinct improvement over the current model.  But most improved compared to the other seven it is definitely not.  In the unlikely event it gets that 5th mid slot, jump this one up to #3 or #4 but someone has to be on the bottom and right now this one's it.

EDIT (17/May/2013): Fifth mid-slot also appears to be out for the T1 Mega.  Boo.

So, that's where I fall with the navy battleships.  Where am I wrong about this list?  What did I get right?

(1) T2 frigates comes closest.  I've flown every T2 frig in the game except the Helios.  T1 BCs comes second closest.  I've flown all of them except the Myrmidon.


  1. The slot layout on the new Megathron is 7/4/8, it was briefly 7/5/7, and the Hype was 8/4/7, but Rise changed that a day or so after the initial announcement.

  2. Just curious jester, but when was the last time you saw the SNI recommended in an incursion fleet? Sure, it probably won't die, but missiles get hated on rather severely in incursions these days. Torp boats, especially the RNI, will get into more, but realistically they are best not using missile ships if they can.

    1. The starter incursion communities still accept SNIs as snipers and anchors, unless I'm completely mistaken?

  3. Fly the Myrmidon! It's a blast. Great little drone boat.

    1. Yep, Ripard's drone skills have been total shit until a couple months ago. I have a Myrm that I need to ship out to TXW.

  4. I've been flying Typhoon Fleet Issues as torpedo ships, but come Odyssey, I'm going to try out some Cruise Missile fits. I've been training up CM skills in anticipation.

  5. I'm curious as to how the Navy Raven is going to be fitted, post-Odyssey, for PvE.

    A set of Rigors (a I and two IIs) basically doubles it's missile damage to smaller ships, allowing it to hit roughly 100DPS versus even elite frigates (Or, to put it another way, roughly as much damage as an extra flight of Light Drones), and allows it to hit for a bit more than half damage (instead of a third) against Cruisers, and allows you to use Fury Cruises against Battleships for full damage. The question is whether that's worth giving up rig slots and a chunk of CPU for, on an already CPU-tight boat.

    I'm still waiting for someone with a better sense of missiles to weigh in though. You actually hit full damage with Fury Cruises with just a Rigor I and a Rigor II, so whether the third is worth the hassle is definitely worth considering. It probably depends on the mission, but it might just be worth keeping a Tengu or something for missions with a lot of smaller targets.

    Overall though, being able to apply 900+ DPS to Battleships is a pretty significant improvement (up to ~1100 out to 60KM with Bouncers). And that's not even a significantly pimped fit.

    For reference, a hastily thrown together CNR fit for Angels Mission. DPS graph was made with what I could find out about a random set of Angels ships. It's far from optimised, and as I said - I'm working out a lot about missile damage as I go.

    [Raven Navy Issue, Pure DPS ]
    Ballistic Control System II
    Caldari Navy Ballistic Control System
    Caldari Navy Ballistic Control System
    Caldari Navy Ballistic Control System
    Power Diagnostic System II

    Explosive Deflection Field II
    Kinetic Deflection Field II
    Dread Guristas X-Large Shield Booster
    Shield Boost Amplifier II
    100MN Afterburner II
    Heavy Capacitor Booster II, Cap Booster 800
    Adaptive Invulnerability Field II

    Cruise Missile Launcher II, Nova Fury Cruise Missile
    Cruise Missile Launcher II, Nova Fury Cruise Missile
    Cruise Missile Launcher II, Nova Fury Cruise Missile
    Cruise Missile Launcher II, Nova Fury Cruise Missile
    Cruise Missile Launcher II, Nova Fury Cruise Missile
    Cruise Missile Launcher II, Nova Fury Cruise Missile
    Cruise Missile Launcher II, Nova Fury Cruise Missile
    Cruise Missile Launcher II, Nova Fury Cruise Missile

    Large Warhead Rigor Catalyst II
    Large Warhead Rigor Catalyst I
    Large Processor Overclocking Unit I

    Bouncer II x3
    Warrior II x5

  6. Why should Caldari missionrunners be smiling at the SNI? It stays a worse version of the CNR in the PvE environment, simply because generating enough tank is no problem in PvE (even in Incursions ... shieldvindis anyone?). It stays a Raven with more resistance, and while the Raven finally loses it's spot as the most horrible T1-missionBS, it's still hardly on the same level as some other factionBS, damage-wise. In PvP though ... monster.

    The CNR will become the #1 missile ship in PvE ... sorry Golem, sorry Tengu. However, Marauders will probably get a balance pass relatively soon™, so maybe the reign of the CNR will be a short one.

    The Napoc ... we will see, but once HACs get some usage again, these baby will become their nightmare. But in PvE, cap-issues are never issues, cap boosters rock on Amarr BS even more than they normally do..

  7. Sadly I think you are wrong about SNI and Incursions :( Missile ships are huge nonono there and even new Raven is not accepted as viable boat. Mostly due damage application problems.

  8. My favourites: CNR, Phoon, Apoc, all three tested and confirmed as awesome. Why?

    CNR: That damage application is insane, I could 1-2 shoot frigates with Precisions and the cruise missiles are fast enough to catch even overheating interceptors. A CNR gang will be nigh untacklable. Max potential dps drops a bit (Typhoon's will be better), but that can be compensated for. The one problem with the boat is very, very, VERY tight cpu (read: nearly impossible to fit). What I love about the bonus, though is that I can now get creative with rigs and the extra mid slot - that alone gives the ship a bit more flexibility than before.

    Napoc: Forget about using it as a sniper, with increased speed and tracking bonus, this ship works best as a mid range "kiter". Pulses + Scorch + that tracking can produce some pretty insane results. Instead of trying to place the ship correctly, I believe the main task for its pilot will be to keeping the optimal range and managing cap. For large fleet combat, I'd stick with Abaddons or Geddons, though, as the main advantages work best in small gangs.

    Phoon: More of the same, but with cruise buff and an extra launcher point, this ship makes for an excellent missile boat. It's actually superior to CNR for damage application against large targets, though it'll have a hard time matching its speed, dps AND tank at the same time, sacrificing one or the other. As an AC boat, though, it completely stomps all over the TFI - apart from slightly lighter tank, it's now superior in every other way - better dps, higher speed, more utility and not that hard to fit either.

    Apart from this, I love it that they kept the old laser Neddon, though I also love the new T1 "MiniBal" setup. The rest doesn't interest me.


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