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.
You can follow along, if you want...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Welcome to the jungle

The sound you just heard was that of every single bittervet PvPer in EVE's history planning to resub, so they could use tier 3 battle cruisers as suicide ganking platforms.  ;-)
Obi-Wan: I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.
The other sound you just heard was that of every carebear in Empire starting to freak out.

Today has been full of news about the four new tier 3 battle cruisers that will be released as part of the winter expansion:
  • the Amarr Oracle;
  • the Caldari Naga;
  • the Gallente Talos; and,
  • the Minmatar Tornado.
I last wrote about the Tornado about a month ago, and I can't help but wonder if including it in this expansion was part of the original plan, or if I nudged someone important into thinking "oh yeah, that".  ;-)  About a month before that, I wrote a post that formalized the concept of a "heavy stealth bomber."  This is an idea that's been around for a long while: a battle cruiser platform that would be a credible threat to capital ships.  In my proposal, I suggested thin tanks and use of a larger version of the bombs that can be used in null.

CCP went another direction with the idea.(1)  But sure enough, that's the concept behind these four ships: battle cruiser platform, check.  Threat to capital ships?  Check check.

The Tornado was reintroduced in a devblog a few days ago, after a very coy picture of the ship appeared on Twitter.  This morning, early, a second such teaser picture was released.  It's hard to say which of the remaining three ships we're looking at here (concentrate on the monitor to the left).  The lines and the goofy profile strike me as Caldari, but go through the comments on that pic and you'll see just as many guesses for Gallente and Amarr.

An hour or so after that, we got the first surprise database leak.  And a few hours after that, the leak became a flood.  See my own first blog post this morning for that.

But let's step back and look at these four ships in isolation.  And let's be clear right now: these ships are terrifying monsters that are going to change the face of EVE Online.

I've been focusing on the Tornado today, but others are looking closely at the remaining three, and it's entirely possible that the Tornado is going to end up being the weakest of these ships.  The Talos is going to do upwards of 1400-1500 DPS at under 12km, making it the single most powerful gank ship in the game if it gets close to you (and it's the only one of the four with drones).  The Naga is going to be doing upwards of 750 DPS with torpedoes and moves at 2500m/s, which may bring back a new age of "cavalry fit" ships.  Certainly, it will likely become the new go-to class of ship for quick undefended tower bashes.(2)  And with its tracking bonus, the Oracle should have no problem striking down cruisers beyond Drake range with 500 DPS... or doing 350 DPS at 190km with beams...

But in their actual role... yeah.  These are scary ships.  In the game of rock-paper-scissors that often characterizes EVE, they are one hell of a big rock.  And they're aimed firmly at every carrier, dreadnought, super carrier, and titan in the game.  Mittens is already planning what to do to supercaps with these.  ;-)

I, however, am looking somewhat closer to the center of the universe.  Make no mistake: once this expansion hits, the age of officer-fitting or deadspace-fitting L4 mission battleships is OVER!  These are the ultimate suicide gank platform.  With battle cruiser priced insurance and suicide-gank fitting, even small groups of these will end anyone silly enough to undock with too-shiny fittings.  We might even see the loss of whole incursion battleship fleets in lower-security Empire systems.  Anyone flying a freighter carrying much of anything is going to have to look over their shoulder.  You're going to see whole fleets of these wandering the Jita pipes and the mission hubs looking for someone to kill.

Yeah, these are scary ships.  Maybe just a bit too scary right now.  I'm just guessing, but I think we're going to see these ships get dialed back a bit before they get released.

One last thing: someone at CCP has a really great sense of humor.  There's a hidden joke in the names of these ships.  While tornadoes are obviously real enough, the other three names deal with things that are primarily mythological.  ;-)

EDIT (25/Oct/2011): One other last thing.  I just realized what the destroyer buff was partially about.  ;-)

(1) That said, I'm totally OK with some version of my proposal being the tech 2 versions of these ships.  ;-)
(2) If my math is accurate, with good skills, one Hydraulic Bay Thrusters rig will get those torps out beyond 30km.


  1. I agree that they'll probably drop them down a notch or two before before release.

    Maybe I'm too dense to understand what is so funny about these having mythological names; you know, like the Loki, Tengu, Lachesis, Armageddon, Proteus and many others.

  2. All of the names are standard for each race, nothing really funny about that.

  3. Use Destroyers for supercap protection against these new BCs?

  4. Autonomous MonsterOctober 25, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    >One last thing: someone at CCP has a really great sense of humor. There's a hidden joke in the names of these ships. While tornadoes are obviously real enough, the other three names deal with things that are primarily mythological. ;-)

    Oh, really? *cracks knuckles*

    Let's see. Talos was the bronze colossus of Crete. Odd coincidence here; Wiki says the name means "sun", and the other Gallente boat sporting 8 large hybrids is the Hyperion. Not sure if that's intentional.

    Naga; that's the name of a group of snake gods from Indian mythology. That's pretty interesting; I can't remember any other boat in the game with an Indian name.

    Oracle... well, that's pretty obvious.

    ...not really seeing a connection between the three. Except... Talos is (peripherally) Greek, and there was both a serpent and an oracle at Delphi. Dunno, seems kind of weak. :/

    Ah! It was Apollo that slew the serpent and established the oracle. That's pretty fucking subtle; I don't think I'd have got it if you hadn't told me there was something to look for.

  5. As someone who flies a faction-fit Vargur, today has been a day of mixed feelings. I love these new ships, but they'll let suicide gankers get away with all sorts of mayhem.

    In the end, however, I'll just have to fly better to deal with such turkeys.

    Oh, and consider getting a stockpile of them come Hulka and joining the fun myself.

  6. Traditionally, only Gallente and a very few Caldari names have been mythological. Most of the Caldari ships are named after RL birds. Only some of the more unusual ships (Charon, Tengu, Chimera, Wyvern, etc.) have gotten the mythological names. Virtually all of the Amarr names are religious concepts. They might be concepts, but they're still real enough if you're a believer.

    The contradiction just tickled me, because we've known what the Tornado looks like for more than a year now. The other three have been more conceptual than real. Thus my amusement that the names reflect that.

  7. You are miscalculating the DPS of the Oracle and the Talos (assuming both were shown with heat), if my assumptions are correct (they will be able to fit Mega Pulses/Neutron Blaster Cannons without using fitting mods, thus allowing for 2 TEs on the Oracle and 1 on the Talos).

    Actual DPS figures/range (without heat) using Faction close range ammo/T2 close range ammo/T2 Long Range ammo:

    Oracle - 733 at 21+10km/811 at 21+10km/584 at 80+16km

    Talos (w/ Warrior IIs) - 1119 at 5.2+16km/1240 at 7.8+8.1km/908 at 13+20km

    Just looking at these numbers, it seems to me that the Oracle & Talos are probably the two best - the Oracle has the fortune of massive range and the Talos has the fortune of massive DPS, whereas the Tornado & Naga are much more balanced and thus less likely to be utilised.

  8. I think with this post, I just saw how gullible bitter vets are. I do hope this game becomes a fantasy world for you to live in, that you are hoping for.

  9. Autonomous MonsterOctober 25, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    Of course I would over-analyse


  10. I'm a carebear. I'm not scared - but I sure am concerned. At the same time, this is going to be exciting!

  11. These things are going to get nerfed at some point. I'm just hoping it's not before they get released because using these to blow up ice miners is going to be the best thing ever.

  12. Rather than 7.5% per level, these things would make sense at 5% per level (similar to battleship bonuses). At 7.5% we're just entering that dangerous land of mudflation.

    … and there is still no way to defend mining barges against attackers, besides being prescient about who is about to suicide gank you in 30 seconds and stopping whatever you're doing.

  13. Well, I guess y'all didn't hear the latest news (or perhaps I'm just trying to start yet another rumor).

    All of the high sec carebears have decided to unsub, unless CCP immediately buffs the tanks of the exhumer, mining barge, freighter, and industrial/tranport ship classes to Jovian levels. Also, they will be demanding that Concord pre-emptively destroy any ship which fires a gun at a non-aggressor in high sec.

    They claim that CCP is catering to the PvP gankers and griefers, without any concern for the PvE innocents, who just want to mine, mission, and move freight, in peace.

    lol..... :)

  14. Care to share your insights RE: the destroyer buff?

  15. Most likely the power level of these ships will be scaled back somewhat even before they hit the public test server. It will also be interesting to see whether the final versions of these ships will actually have enough fitting space to fit even the first-tier long-range weapons such as 1200mm artillery without sacrificing tank.

    Suicide ganking will definitely be an issue, especially if the Tornado combines Tempest-level alpha strike with battlecruiser-level cost. But I suspect that CCP will eventually reduce or eliminate insurance payout for ships killed by Concord, which will probably reduce tear-driven suicide ganking at least somewhat.

  16. This can either A kill off Level 4's or B make them easier... Hard to tell.

  17. Comment: So the talos is basically a cheap, fast vindicator....(ofc less tank). Seems stupid that a Battlecruiser that'll prolly cost around same as a noctis once prices go down will do same dps as a faction battleship.

  18. Talos = mini, faster, Vindicator.

  19. why do people assume they are gank platforms?

    its t3

    theyll probably cost a couple billion to buy

  20. 0.0 was nerfed while highsec was buffed, so a highsec nerf was due anyway.

    And what better way to do it if not with big explosions and tasty KMs. Given that it will be all player-driven, it falls in the sandbox concept very well.

  21. Autonomous MonsterOctober 26, 2011 at 7:29 AM

    Talos is not going to do anything like as much damage as a Vindi. Vindi has a 37.5% damage bonus and can fly a full wing of heavy drones. Talos has 25% and a wing of lights.

    It's also going to have to gimp its tank to get as many mag stabs on there- though I guess that's the idea ;)

  22. Destroyers had their sig radius reduced and their ROF nerf removed. So they now do the DPS of a cruiser, but have the speed and sig radius of a frigate.

    Ergo: The speed/sig radius to tank a battlecruiser and the DPS to take one down...

  23. @Anom 26-10-11 07:30AM

    Tier 3 not Tech 3

    There gonna be 100M fitted my guess.

    I am more worried about tracking then anything else.

    They get that right, and it's all gravy as far as I'm concerned.

  24. @Anon0639

    Not T3, tier-3. Derp.

    I agree that the destroyer boost is partly to be able to counter a battlecruiser which just happens to wield large guns and have minimal drones.

  25. The tracking change between a hurricane and a tornado based on the prelim numbers is 1/3 with identical fits for 1 tracking enhancer all 5's. A thrasher can now do 469 dps with AC at 10km with a stable cap with speeds up to 1800 m/s using a MWII. So destroyers are going to be holy terrors to anything BS/BC size using large guns. They will run them down and speed tank them.

    This also does something fairly weird though in that an identical setup on the t2 sabre yields less dps than the thrasher now.

    There is very definitely going to be a balance on this.

  26. "once this expansion hits, the age of officer-fitting or deadspace-fitting L4 mission battleships is OVER!"

    I'm the owner of one of those multibillion BS ships you speak of. Guess what, when these are released I just gonna park mine somewhere, then I will buy and cheap fit one of those babies above.

    I see no reason to handhold +1 year-old players. It's not like they have never heard not to fly what they cannot afford to loose. People will either adapt or bear the concequences.

  27. I'm not convinced this will have a drastic effect on suicide ganking. It's certainly a bone to those who are already doing it, and may bring a few more in, but really the primary barrier to entry for that profession is logistical (ie: friends, organisation, coordination, sec status, etc.). Maybe I'll turn out wrong, but I doubt it.

    Really, CCP is certainly playing the last of their cards here. The tweaks they are making for the winter expansion are totally game changing and easy to do, but they're going to be a nightmare for balance - especially all at once. I expect the gamble will pay off in spades bringing people back into the game to try all the new shit, but I've no idea how it'll affect things long term.


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