Friday, 28 October 2011

Change is in the... air?

If you have not seen it already, Azual has done an amazing job of sumarising the leaked ship balance changes. However, whereas Azual is a sophistacated man with wide ranging tastes and diverse experiences, I'm a narrow minded, Amarr focused, rocket slinging, small ship flying pirate.

What can I say? It's a niche.

But with that in mind - and the obvious caveat that the balance changes are in beta - here's a look at the things that jump out at me.

Destroyers are getting buffed!

Destroyers receive increased HP and capacitor, a significantly decreased sig radius and no longer have a rate of fire penalty. It's not clear yet whether this will carry over to the T2 versions (although they have no rate of fire penalty, it will be interesting to see if they also get a slight dps boost), but it would make very little sense not to at least drop the sig radius - it's the same hull, after all.

Now, using some data pulled from Jester's blog, we can see what they are currently testing for the Coercer:

  [-|n] destroyerPenalityTurretROF
  [-] destroyerROFpenality: 1.25
  [*] armorHP: 782.0 => 860.0
  [*] capacitorCapacity: 562.5 => 703.0
  [*] shieldCapacity: 625.0 => 688.0
  [*] signatureRadius: 83.0 => 62.0

So, we have roughly a 10% boost to shield and armor, but also a 25% buff (ie, a reduction) to sig radius! For comparison, the sig radius on a Punisher is 38. This means that the Coercer is going to go from twice as easy to hit as the Punisher to roughly one and a half times as easy to hit. Is this enough of a buff? I don't know - that's something that will need to be tested. But I'm willing to bet that CCP is going to keep buffing until the numbers do work.

This means that destroyers may suddenly become very viable solo ships against a fairly wide range of targets (right now they just try to gank frigates, often without success). With enough tank and firepower to brawl down a frigate, and enough speed and agility to get under the guns of a cruiser or battle cruiser (while still pumping out stupid amounts of dps) the face of small gang pvp might well be changed forever.

Exciting times.

Javelin missiles are being unnerfed.

Javelin missiles have always been stupid. They give you increased range, but slow you down. This is not a "perpendicular" nerf - a nerf to an attribute you are not using - but rather a straight up design flaw.

If you want extra range on your missiles it's either because you are being kited, or because you are kiting someone. In neither case are you helped by moving more slowly. For this reason, I carry only a small load of Javelin rockets and use them to hopefully drive kiters out of point range while I try to escape. It's more of a theory than something that seems to work in practice.

However, it looks like CCP is going to remove the penalties on a huge range of T2 ammo, including Javelins. This is a real game changer for Amarr missile ships, as it suddenly makes kiting a serious option. I've messed about with this on my Malediciton even with the speed penalty, but this opens up the field to non-interceptors.

A kiting Heretic looks like a real possibility as this hull gets a range bonus to rockets. If it also receives a boost similar to T1 destroyers, this will almost certainly become one of my core solo ships.

What about a mwd kiting Vengeance? Can a Sacriledge now keep up with an AC Hurricane gang and still contribute some dps? I can't answer these questions yet, but I'm looking forward to experimenting once this change goes live.

Blasters are being buffed right.

I don't fly turret ships, but I rejoyce for my Gallente and Caldari bretheren. It looks like blasters and rails will become more viable while also keeping their unique flavour - there was a real risk that they would simply become an AC/arty knockoff.


  1. I'm pretty happy about blasters and rails too. I always liked the faceraping DPS of blasters, but hated how you had to be almost at zero on the target to apply it.

    I'm happy about the changes to minnie t2 ammo also. Hail is getting a buff if I remember right. Now it'll be uber powerful and give a tracking bonus. Gone will be the days of RF Fusion, maybe even RF Phased. RF EMP will probably still be around though since minnie t2 ammo is exp/kinetic though.

  2. Had an interesting discussion in alliance the other night...kind of came to a realization.
    Rather than be an "AC/arty knockoff", they should be pretty much the EXACT opposite.
    Blasters, according to their "show info" basically fire balls of plasma that disperse fairly rapidly, but if it hits it HURTS. So, make blasters the opposite of ACs. They are all optimal, with no falloff. Say 2x optimal to start, and nerf the falloff down to say, 10% of original.
    I fly Gal almost exclusively, and while extra tracking is nice (but I tend to fly tracking-bonused ships anyways), the biggest problem with blasters is that by the time you get to optimal to apply that face-melting damage, your face is already melted off. The problem is that it's far too easy for others to FORCE your hand and make you fight in falloff (unless you're lucky enough to get a 0 warp-in)... huge optimal buff would help that at least somewhat.
    I think you'll find with a tracking buff that people are gonna be crying when skilled blasterMega pilots are one-shotting dessies and cruisers, all without loading up on tracking enhancers or comps.