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:
[-] 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.
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.
Posted by Taurean Eltanin at 00:39