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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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Battleship bay

Heavens, this has been a difficult post to draft.

I mean, how could it not be?  The very best thing about CCP Rise?  He's willing to discuss and debate every little detail of his work with both CSM members and players, and make changes based on those discussions on a day-by-day, even minute-by-minute basis.  The very worst thing about CCP Rise?  The very same thing, heh.  There are -- and I wish I was kidding -- 363 pages of discussion on the tech 1 battleships on the EVE Online forums.  That's just the tech 1 BSs.  Then there's a hundred or so more pages of discussion on FHC and kugu.  The CSM has written hundreds of lines of suggested alterations and fixes.  There's no possible way anyone could keep up with it all and yet somehow Rise is managing.  I think.  I hope.

So I want to write about battleships.  But please do not operate under the illusion that I'm keeping track of every single solitary little change.  I'm not.  The battleships continue to evolve on a day-by-day basis.  Just today, I learned about two more (admittedly very minor) changes to two faction battleships.  But as I did with cruisers, and as I did with battle cruisers, I want to talk about winners and losers.  And within that framework, I'm going to stay away from specifics and talk broad strokes: the role changes of these big, bad-ass ships.  First, let's cover the tech1 BSs.


Typhoon.  Or should I say Typhoon!  I predicted this one was coming when I saw how the Cyclone was rebalanced and now that the day is fast approaching, I can't wait!  Torpedo Typhoons are going to be incredible, but cruise missile Typhoons are going to be even better.  Stupid fast, agile, and hard-hitting, expect to see a lot of MJD Typhoons land, start firing cruises, blink out 100km and keep firing without ever losing their locks.  It's going to be fun in a way I can't possibly yet imagine.  Needless to say, both Ripard and my combat alt are both in the midst of training Cruise Missiles V right now.  Which brings me to...

Raven.  Of the two, I like the Typhoon more.  Partially, it's the explosion velocity bonus (this post from alliance-mate Namamai deftly explains why this bonus is important).  The big thing the Raven picks up that's going to make this ship interesting is the great increases to speed and agility.  I'm currently flying a lot of PODLA Drakes.  I can very easily see myself flying some PODLA Ravens very soon.  It looks like the Raven's going to be tougher, just as fast, and nearly as agile... while doing way more DPS.  And not that the Raven needed any help on the PvE front, but the changes are going to make running L4 missions in this boat even easier -- and dare I say it -- slightly more fun!

Scorpion.  There's only one small change, but it's huge: plus one low slot.  If this change survives (and it should), it's going to change the Scorp a lot more than you would expect on the surface.  Armor-tanked Scorps have indeed been a thing, but with only a four-slot tank, have been fragile easy primaries and have not benefitted from particularly exceptional jam strength to compensate.  They've been used, but armor-tanked Falcons have been used more and have been more survivable.  With a fifth low slot, this opens up a lot of new options for either tanking or that all-important jamming strength mod.

Megathron.  This has been the subject of a lot of debate (it's no coincidence that the Gallente battleship thread is the second largest of the four).  Let me just say it: I'm nearly totally on Rise's side on this one.  I love these changes.  They make the Mega fast and aggressive, which is just what an attack ship should be.  I love the versatility this adds to the ship and you're going to see a dozen different fits come out for this monster, each better than the last.  In particular, shield gank Megas are definitely gonna be a thing and I can't wait.  The only thing I'm not a fan of?  The ever-shrinking drone bay.  That's why it falls behind the three ships above.

EDIT (17/May/2013): Fifth mid slot is off the Mega on Sisi.  Boo.  I still think we'll see shield Megas but they won't be nearly as much fun.  Mega gets bumped down to "In the middle."

Armageddon.  This was a close call.  I almost put it into the "in the middle" group below but I'm going to err on the side of optimism.  I wasn't initially a fan of the changes... in fact, when I first started playing with fittings for this boat, my first thought was to fit it like an armor Tempest!  Complete with auto-cannons!  But the more I play around with the options, the more this one is growing on me.  Biggest plus continues to be versatility and that isn't changing.  I don't much care for the increased cost, though...


Hyperion.  Don't get me wrong: Rise is trying.  But it's pretty clear that he doesn't have a clue what to do with this ship.  If I had to guess (and it is a guess... I have no inside information on this), I'd say it'll be watched pretty closely throughout Odyssey, then receive a second rebalance later this year.  I can't even keep track of what its slot layout is from week to week right now... let me go look.  OK.  I just checked Singularity and as of today, it's 7-5-7.  Poor Rise.  This ship is the other reason the Gallente thread is so monstrous.

Rokh.  I'm sorry and I know this ship has a lot of fans in sniping fleets, but it's always felt like someone's abandoned little brother... unless you happen to be a sov alliance of thousands of pilots.  In this case Rokhs take what should be a Minmatar role -- alpha strikes and blapping things off the field in one volley -- and do it better than the Minmatar can thanks to faster-cycling rail guns.  I'm not a fan but hey, that's probably my prejudice showing.  That said, the Rokh should have been given a slightly bigger drone bay and slightly better agility to make up for the resist bonus loss.

Small alliances in general.  With tiericide in effect, the battleships that used to be relatively cheap will be no more.  They are going to be much closer in price and as a result you're seeing a lot of speculation on the battleship markets just now.  Sure, things will stabilize, but the small gangs that hardly ever use battleships certainly won't be inclined to start when they're more expensive!  I'll have more to say about this in a later post.

Abaddon.  Like the Rokh, this ship should have been given something to make up for the lost resistance bonus.  Specifically, it should have been given either slightly higher base cap, or faster cap recharge.  But that of course would have made it even more like the Apoc.  The Amarr thread is the largest, and that comes down to how popular and iconic the Amarr BSs are.

The former tier 3 BSs in general.  It's no coincidence that I consider three out of four of the former tier 3 BSs "losers" in this post.  To a certain extent, Rise is doing to BSs the same thing that was done to BCs: make the good ones worse while raising up the poor ones.  As I put it in the BC rebalance post: the fives and sixes out of ten become sevens.  The nines, though... also become sevens.  It's not as bad for the BSs, thankfully, but it's definitely on my mind.

In the middle

Maelstrom.  For me, the Maelstrom is sort of the prototypical EVE battleship.  I agree that its roles and purposes have suited it well and as a "control" battleship receiving no changes while the others are modified around it, you could definitely do much, much worse.

Tempest.  Previously my favorite tech1 battleship, it will now be relegated to sixth or seventh.  That makes me sad, but the Tempest has always been slightly over-powered (like its little brother, the Hurricane) and so the other battleships catching up was to be expected.  I'm pleased it didn't lose a utility slot.

Dominix.  This one really needs something to happen with the drone combat meta to really come into its own.  I enjoy flying "herd Domis" from time to time, but it's not really a fleet meta that's gone anywhere in the last few years.  Ironically, this ship's place has been taken over by sentry drone carriers for the big alliances, and the smaller alliances for the most part would rather have that than the flying running shoe.

Apocalypse.  I alllllmost put this one in the "losers" category.  I consider reducing both base cap and removing its cap bonuses near-fatal flaws.  "There is some concern that the new Apoc will have a significant cap weakness, which will make it too similar to the Abaddon," says Rise.  Yup.  The initial very large nerf to cap has been adjusted to just a large nerf to cap, but I don't think it's going to be enough.  I don't think there's enough difference between the "Apoc" and the "Baddon" now and I think it likely people will just go for the latter.  On the positive end, I'm a huge fan of the new design.  So again I'm going to err on the side of optimism though in my heart, I really wanted to class this one as a loser.

After a lot of thought on the matter, that's my current thinking on the tech1 battleships.  In my opinion, Caldari battleships win overall.  And that continues with the navy battleships, but more on that presently.  In addition to training Cruise Missiles V, I'm also training up Caldari Battleships!  For these, what did I get right?  Where am I totally wrong?


  1. Still waiting for the Dominix to get a facelift.

    Shit's fuckin' ugly. And not cool-ugly either, just stupid-ugly. It's supposed to be a goddamn drone hive, and it looks like a shoe. I've been saying it for years, now, but I'll keep screaming until that boat gets a design deserving of the battleship name.

    ...New apoc looks good though. :)

  2. Nice roundup(as always), and I´m curious, how the future Meta for Large and Med Scale will look like.

    Ahem...four Amarr BS ? (mentioned in: Losers --> Abaddon...) ...tell me more ;-)

  3. At least CCP Rise is following a process that should eventually converge on a reasonable balance. The team working on the scanning and probing on the other hand…yeesh.

    Would appreciate some sort of commentary/analysis/opinion of the probing situation.

  4. Ripard, the Hyperion is perhaps the most buffed Battleship of them all. You should take a second look at it and compare it to the old one.

    1. I'm comparing it to the other 11 battleships.

      When I look at buying a new car and I look at a 2013 Honda Accord, I don't compare it to the 2012 Honda Accord. I compare it to the Accord's competitors.

      It's by that standard that I rate the Hype a loser.

    2. How? It's a beast now. 6 turrets with a 10%/level damage bonus is an effective 9 blasters, with an optional missile launcher. It has 125 bandwidth now, so a full flight of heavies or garde II's. It has a solid amount of PG that should allow much easier to fit triple rep fits. It retains 5 mids which allows for the two needed cap boosters, a prop mod, and tackle. It gains a utility high.

      For the up close and personal, it should really tear into the competition.

  5. It does indeed appear that Rise has no idea what to do with the Hyperion.

    It's almost as if the Hyperion's intended role is already filled by the Megathron and thus is left trying to create a niche which it can then fill. Hmm...Hyperion competing with the Mega for the same role...you know, I recall a lot of people saying the same thing around about the time the tier 3 battleships were first introduced.

    FWIW, I don't think shuffling slots and hull bonuses are going to save the Hype. I think Rise needs to go back to the drawing board and make a NEW Gallente battleship from whole cloth, to mix my metaphors a little. Perhaps an ewar based hull?

  6. I disagree with your judgment on the Hyperion. That thing is going to be *scary*, able to put out well over 1k dps while having an active tank that's almost as large. The Hyperion has always had the weakness fo massive tank, but anemic dps. This new version will be quite able to killing things very quickly, while keeping it's huge tank. The AARs only improve this.

    Honestly, I see the Hyperion coming into it's own in the way the Maelstrom has been the "fight large numbers of people with one of two ships" for years now. And I like it ;) An effective active armour tanker is exactly what the BS line needed.

  7. "The Amarr thread is the largest, and that comes down to how popular and iconic the four Amarr BSs were."
    Typo or small CSM leak ?;) (or I can't count to four :P)

    1. CCP has posted few time in the dev blog and forums that since caldari has EW battleship while the others are all straight combat they are looking to add in disruption class BS to the other 3 races battleship line up

  8. Great title for this post. Bioshock Infinte was a good one. :-D

  9. With the amarr line I wish they would have made the apoc the neut boat with the geddon becoming the attack ship.

    The apoc seems outclassed by the raven in damage projection. The raven gets the same damage as a scorch apoc by only using t1 ammo. From there the raven can choose damage type or go up to faction ammo for more damage. I'm just not seeing why i'd go with an apoc over a raven.

    That having been said the typhoon is like a super raven up close. Faster, more agile, larger drone bay and a tiny signature.

    The role the geddon got is fine, but again i wish it had gone to the apoc instead.

    I'd put the apoc/geddon both being losers compared to what could have been.

  10. Winners: T3 BCs.

  11. In trying to peek in on those threads it seems that people are sometimes arguing opposite sides because of unstated assumptions of the use of the ship. As usual the big one is PVP vs PVE.

    Your description above seems to use a lot of description of PVP expectations. If you harken back to your Incursion / L4 days would you order these ships differently?

    Is that part of what is dragging CCP Rise back and forth?

  12. After making missiles the red-headed stepchild of weapon systems due to the server load they inflict, why oh why are ALL races getting missile boats? Why is CCP boosting missile BSs? Why is CCP boosting the ships that require the least player skill (not character skill points) to fly well ?

  13. Unless the art department gets involved, the Hyperion is going to look goofy with 6 turrets.

    Honestly, I don't really understand why Gallente don't have a BS with a full rack of bonused guns. I realize that in some regards, having fewer is better, but as it stands right now, the Megathron has 9.33 (up from 8.75) effective guns, and the hype has 9 (down from 10). I realize blasters do a lot of damage, and that both ships will outdamage every other BS at close range, but they both have issues with projection, so it still seems odd not to give one of them 8 turrets. This is especially odd when it seems to be fine for the Talos and the Naga.

  14. I've got to call you out on the Hyperion.

    Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of confusion with what to do with it, and it's far from perfect.. The Armor Rep bonus is imho one of the most useless bonuses in Eve atm (except for maybe on an Incursus) and the idea that "Down the road" it'll be useful is a poor excuse for not making useful NOW..

    With all of that said, the new Hyperion is a Monster. Hell the Current Hyperion is a monster, but the new one improves on it in every single way.

    The Current Hype pushes the most DPS of any standard T1 BS, hell the only non-T2 BS that I know of that out DPS's it is a Vindicator. It has 5 mids, which is the magic number for being able to switch as needed between Armor and Shield tanks. The big fallback is Capacitor. It has none. I swear if you undock and do nothing the Hype will still lose cap :p

    The new one makes two minor but important changes to that situation. The first is dropping 2 Guns, for an added DPS bonus. Net effect is you go from 10 guns to 9, but you've dropped a fair bit of your cap usage for that. A fair trade imho. The other change is a low, want some of that DPS back fit another Magstab, or a cap charger, or tracking, or more tank, or whatever you need.

    Add on to those changes enough dronebay and bandwidth for a full flight of heavies/sentries, with room left over for some lights, which will again improve the loss of that one net turret. And the util high just adds even more options.

    No, the Hyperion is a clear winner in the changes. It's not perfect, but it does everything it was able to do before Better, and has more options, in fits and use.

  15. You can't really blame CCP Rise for not knowing what to do with the Hyperion, I suppose; I'm not sure anyone knew what to do with that ship from the moment it was introduced. I guess the idea was that each race needed to get one ship optimized for line-of-battle operations, with boosts to traditional racial defense and traditional racial weaponry, but ... is there anything at all it can do better than the Rokh? (Aside from armor tanking, natch, but wouldn't an Abaddon or Apoc be preferable for armor fleets anyway?)

  16. I am not completely sure if I agree on the part of the hyperion, the stronger bonus to its DPS and nice active rep bonus this ship can now become quite beastly.

    I grabbed the current oddyssey EFT files from FHC and EFTed myself one of theese bad boys, the result was quite scary.
    Coming with a rack of 6 Neutron Blasters and a utility highslot neut,it can pack quite a punch. Combine this with a full flight of heavy drones it becomes a very real threat on the battlefield.
    Fitted with one LAR and one anc-LAR DCU and 2 eanms this thing can tank upwards of 1100 DPS. Two magstabs brings this beasts DPS even higher.
    In the mids it sports 1 heavy 1 medium cap injectors to feed cap to the tank and the guns it handles itself quite nicely. Scramweb + MWD as standard on a brawling ship.
    Give it some armor rigs and this fit is tight, sports around 1300dps, 1100 dps tanked and moves at about 1k m/s.

    I can't say I think this ship is bad at all, might not be ideal for big fleets but that's what we've got it's brother the Megathron for.
    But bring this badboy into say lowsec in a 1-5man gang and you can realy tear stuff up.


  17. One caveat: the “Apoc” and the “Baddon” are going to be helped by a CAP activation reduction promised by the DEVs for the large beams/TACHYs/pulses announced a month ago in the foreums too, correct? If this promise is broken the Amarr BS are screwed. If this promise is kept then the Oracle will get a slight buff.

  18. No comment on the Mega's gun bonus change what so ever?

    Or how the Domi drone bonus isn't even being cloned to the navy Domi...

    1. I didn't want to get down into the weeds of specific line-items because they're changing from time to time. I wanted to concentrate on the roles.

      As for BSs versus navy BSs, that'll be in the next post.

    2. Domi's new drone bonuses suck. Tracking speed and optimal range? Good for sentries, useless for everything else. And sentries are great... if you don't think that moving around in battle is important, or you are willing to just leave your drones behind.

      And, the Domi's DPS took a bit hit, by losing the gun bonuses. Blaster Domi's are very flexible and very deadly. But, not so much anymore.

  19. I can't blame Rise for having problems with the Hype. Look at its parts (sketching broadly):

    1) Blasters: Either "ha ha you brought a knife to a gun fight" or "OMG my face is melting"

    2) Active tank: Either "hello fleet alph-" or "you can't touch me"

    3) Velocity: Either "I kite you forever" or "O HAI."

    So, what is the Hyperion? A fast, active tanked blaster boat. It has to be balanced on a knife's edge between "hangar queen" and "unstoppable gankmobile," because there is no nuance to any of the systems it is designed around. Worse, because fittings are in a shared pool between all classes of modules, it's hard to accommodate the high capacitor demand of both blasters (firing Antimatter) and active armor tanks without giving the ship a huge pool of cap that can be used for any number of other things (see: the old Hurricane).

    This perfect storm of dilemmas is probably the best argument available for the wisdom of the falloff bonus for blaster boats: At the cost of making them a bit like autocannons, it gives them a bit more nuance between 0 DPS and 1000 DPS, which make the ships more forgiving both to design and to fly. The rig that gave a bonus to active tank overheating was a step in the right direction, too. The more shades of grey they can add to the Hyperion's design, the easier I imagine it would be to make it work.

    (You could also apply this argument to certain Scorch-firing laser bricks, if you were so inclined.)

    1. The cap thing not so much. Could always make a ship role bonus for gun cap reduction for example, or change the armor tanking bonus to 7.5% effectiveness AND cap use reduction per level.

      Anyhow, there are ways around things if they want to use them. It might look messy, but it'd work.

    2. The Hype is supposed to be Gallente's ultimate face-melting, uber-tanking battlewagon.

      It's not supposed to be a fair fight, 1-on-1, with the bastard. If you want to guarantee to take one out, you *should* need to bring a bit more than just a Rokh.

      And, therein lies the problem with Rise.

      He is trying to make *all* of the battleships equivalent, more or less, as part of CCP's tiericide program, and he is pretty much taking the easy route by opting to make ships more homogenous - ie. Minmatar ship A is equal to Amarr ship A is equal to Caldari ship A is equal to Gallente ship A.

      FYI - eliminating tiers does *not* mean you need to make all ships equal.

      What is really weird, though, is that he insists on keeping the Scorp, as is, despite the fact that there will be no equivalent ship for the other races.

      Clearly an inconsistent design philosophy. Why does only Caldari get an exception to the homogenous ship rules?

  20. I'd disagree with you on the Hyp, Ripard. Remember, the Megathron is losing its utility high and half its drone bandwidth. Besides the slot layouts, the Hyperion is getting a doubled damage bonus (5%->10%) to compensate for losing two turret hardpoints, and more drone bandwidth.

    So, the Hyperion has gotten an extra low, AND better gank, AND a utility high, AND 125mbit of drones out of these changes. That's huge.

    Put it this way -- it's viable now to do a four-slot tank or five-slot tank on a Hyperion with 2-3 damage mods, five mids full of mobility/ewar, a full rack of neutrons, and a heavy neut:

    * You're putting down >1000 dps
    * You've got a ton of utility and flexibility, between 5 mids and a heavy neut
    * You're still fairly mobile (1km/sec on the MWD before heat)
    * You're still above the 100k EHP mark

    Or, if you want to still do the old venerable shield Hyp, it's even more frightening than ever due to that extra low and the stronger guns. 1300dps with CNAM and five Ogres without breaking a sweat, and MWDs at 1230m/s now due to having a second nano.

    I spent Thursday night moving over 40 battleships up to TXW. Four of them were Hyperions.

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. I don't like the price changes, and I don't like most of the changes. And, yes, I can fly every BS in the game, at level 5 (unlike Kil2).

    Almost *every* change is related to how these ships *must* fit only into large alliance fleet doctrine - solo and small gang players are being completely ignored by Rise (which is really why those threads are hundreds of pages long - he is selectively responding to the few posts which agree with his direction, and treating the rest as background noise... ala Tallest and SoniClover - two of the worst devs in terms of responding constructively to player feedback).

    CCP's big mistake? Putting a noob dev in charge of this work. It would have been smarter to keep Fozzie on the battleships, and let Rise dink around with the navy ships.

    Sure, in the end, Fozzie may have gone the same direction as Rise, but, at least, somehow, he does a much better job of communicating with the players (maybe because Fozzie isn't stupid enough to actually tell players that he made his changes based on discussions with other devs only, rather than first soliciting input from the players or discussing ideas with the CSM, esp. with ships that he has no in-game experience).

  23. You are crazy, Jester. The Phoon is getting nerfed, not buffed.

    The main strength of the Phoon as it is now lies in its flexibility and unpredictability - the fact that it can fit bonused guns and/or bonused launchers plus drones. In the hands of a high SP pilot - with maxed gun, missile and drone skills - the current Phoon absolutely rules for solo and small gang PVP. The one ship that every PVP pilot should strive to train up the max skills to fly.

    The new Phoon? Ugh. At least, Rise put the turrets back on, although he still refuses to admit he is completely wrong and restore the gun bonus.

    And his comments are even more ridiculous. Sacrificing utility to fit a specific single DPS-based role is just plain stupid in a sandbox game. And, expecting that the Navy version should take its place, for those of us who cherish flexibility in our ships, is the height of idiocy. Does this moron even know the price difference between the two versions, esp. with the new price kick? Does he think that every player belongs to a Tech-rich alliance?

    Please, CCP, fire this guy already and hire a *real* game designer. Thank you.


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