Monday, 30 January 2012
Fixing Eve: Assault Ships
Despite the buffs, I've yet to be really thrilled by any Assault Frigates fits that I've seen so far. As I've said in other posts, this is because I don't want to fly an Assault Frigate without an mwd because of the vulnerability to camps and gangs. Saturday evening alone I evaded five camps in ten minutes just roaming around Hev; I would not have been able to do that in an afterburner fit ship.
However, when fitting an mwd, you either need to go dual prop, or kiting fit (which my Interceptor already does). CCP could not give AFs an extra mid for dual prop, because that extra mid could be used for a great many more broken things instead. I completely understand why this would not have been possible.
Create an entirely new prop mod, only usable by Assault Frigates. This "assault drive" functions like an afterburner most of the time, but when you overheat it, it functions like an mwd. Hey presto, problem solved!
Now, most people I suggest this to say something along the lines of "that's horribly broken!", but I beg to differ.
First, it does not do anything that an AF cannot already do. Any AF can strap on two prop mods; it's just that with the limited midslots on frigates, they will probably be unable to include tackle/tank/web or whatever other midslot module the ship is based around. Nobody is screaming that those dual prop ships are overpowered; in fact, I don't think anyone is even bothering to fly them.
Second, this is a really easy way to balance AFs without impacting other ships. Because it's an AF only module, CCP can tweak the assault drive to do exactly what they want it to do. Feel that AFs should only have 60 seconds of mwd speed? Adjust the heat damage accordingly. Feel that full mwd is too slow/fast? Adjust the overheat bonus. And so on.
With an assault drive, AFs would have a decent chance of navigating gate camps and actually finally get into scram range. The initial mwd "charge" would make AFs much like EVEs cavalry, smashing into the enemy for a short, sharp engagement - the kind of fight you envisage from something with the word "assault" in the name, no?
It also prevents AFs from competing directly with Cruisers, giving each a distinct role. AFs might have comparable tank or damage output, but they would lack the longevity in manoeuvre heavy fights, as they would need to constantly break off to repair the heat damage to their assault drives.
Of course, nothing like this is going to happen, but I think that it would make a better fix than what we currently have, while actually giving Assault Frigates a unique role/feature, which they sorely lack right now.