Monday, July 06, 2015

BB 64 - Arms Race

Torpedo! Torpedo! Torpedo!
With the Aegis release we will see missile boats get their own version of the tracking enhancer and the tracking computer. On the forums there have been calls for new 'missile defence eWar' to counter these new modules. Is this needed? Are smartbomb 'firewalls' enough? Do defender missiles need an overhaul to make them actually worth using? Do we need the missile version of the remote tracking disruptor? Or do we go all Star Trek and have Point-Defence Phaser Banks? Banter on!
Related to this topic is the official Dev Blog announcement for the new modules:
First of all, we are introducing two entirely new module groups to enhance performance of all missile systems in the game. 
Missile Guidance Enhancers – these are passive, low slot modules that give bonuses to missile velocity, missile flight time, explosion radius of missiles, and explosion velocity of missiles.
Missile Guidance Computers – these are active, scriptable, mid slot modules that give bonuses to missile velocity, missile flight time, explosion radius of missiles, and explosion velocity of missiles. Using ‘Missile Precision Script’ or ‘Missile Range Script’ you can double the bonus to either range or application, sacrificing the other. 
For both module groups we are starting with a Tech I variation, a ‘Compact’ meta variation with reduced fitting requirements, and a Tech II variation. You can find details on their statistics in this forum thread.
For the record, the current missile module, the Ballistic Control System (used to be Ballistic Control Unit hence why we sometimes call it BCU for short) gives bonuses to rate of fire and damage.

I'm a fan of these new modules because one of the issues missile ships always had to contend with was the inability to successfully "hit down" ship classes as you moved up to cruisers and battleships, a problem that turret equipped ships could circumvent with tracking computers and tracking enhancers. The only real option for missile ships was to sacrifice damage and range by using the rapid light launchers which is essentially fitting frigate sized weapons on cruisers / cruiser sized weapons on battleships. So yeah, modules that allow missile ships some flexibility in hitting various targets at greater range or better "guidance" while trading off tanking or tackling modules or whatever is something I generally approve of.

However, there is a downside. The dynamic always was that turret weapon systems got the trade off of being able to hit smaller targets with correct application of webs, tracking enhancers/computers, and know-how about transversal and optimal range, while missile systems had a simpler mechanic in that you needed only to know your range and the damage was pretty consistent but you had a harder time hitting smaller targets as it was very deterministic. But now we have modules that decrease that downside without the counterbalance of more complicated mechanics or the possible presence of a tracking disruptor in the enemy fleet.

There are defender missiles. No, wait, let me correct myself: there are jokes about defender missiles. Even if they worked as intended (i.e. missiles that shot out and destroyed enemy missiles coming at you), they lack the same wider application that a tracking disruptor provides in that it lets you affect the overall performance of tracking on the target ship regardless of what its shooting at.

Something needs to be done to rectify this imbalance between the major weapon systems. Either existing tracking disruptors need to be able to negatively affect some or all the four "hitability" factors of missiles (velocity, flight time, explosion radius and explosion velocity) OR we need a new module for guidance disruption. I'm a fan of the former option as I always felt that Amarr ewar boats suffered from being unable to impact missile ship weapon systems as they don't use cap and are not affected by tracking disruption.

While you're in there, CCP, maybe look into Remote Tracking Computers, will you?

Friday, June 26, 2015

On Vacation Next Week!

Taking the family and going on a little vacation next week. Blogging to resume on the 7th of July!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

You Think It Will Be Different?

I am shocked, no, gobsmacked, by the naivety of some people.

There I was the other day, on the World of Warships closed beta forums, browsing between builds at work. Since it was a day of the week ending with the letter 'y', someone was complaining about other players in the match being stupid, being trolls, not listening, not doing teamwork, spamming local chat, whatever.

Then, near the end of his post, he rants, "I swear to god, I cannot wait for Star Citizen. When the Persistent Universe finally launches, I am killing every single game installation I have."

Star Citizen is not the first persistent multiplayer universe game, hell its not even the first space version of such. Getting a random smattering of people to suddenly cooperate in a 15-20 minute game is near impossible with differing skill levels, experience, commitment, and attitude, not to mention the communication difficulties of different languages and no voice communications. Star Citizen is not going to magically fix teamwork issues, just like EVE Online, World of Warcraft, or any other MMO game ever did.

Star Citizen players are going to be in for a shock if they think their world will be any different.

Fleet Commander Credo

Fear is the joy killer.
You are flying spaceships made of pixels that someone else actually owns.
Death is temporary.
Let go of the fear.

I will run the fleet from fights I know we cannot hope to win;
I will attack enemies I know we will crush in victory.
In between those extremes lies glory and adrenaline.

Fire on the primary.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Warship Wednesday - Open Beta Tomorrow

Finally, Open Beta beckons. I've been anxiously awaiting it since its the last server wipe of progress for everyone and I'm eager to get to work on my "forever" fleet of ships and captains instead of the current motely crew of "oopsies" captain skills and abandoned tech tree attempts.

My main focus will be getting back to the IJN Amagi battleship, my currently favourite ship to send into battle.

I expect it to be a long slog with the normal experience and credit gains in open beta, but fortunately I am fond of the Fuso and Nagato battleships prior to it.

The secondary tree I plan to work on is the IJN carrier line as I really enjoy them, and I'll probably have the IJN cruisers and destroyers on standby for a while. Not sure at this point if I will work on USN ships, although I love the American cruisers. Perhaps I'll work towards a Cleveland for fun.

If you plan to play and have questions, please email me! kkodachi

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Blog Banter Is Moving Blogs!

It has become apparent that as my responsibilities at work increase that I cannot properly host the Blog Banters which require a focused and dedicated mind to keep them operational. And I'm pretty scatterbrained lately.

So I contacted Drackarn of Sand, Cider and Spaceships who has been a consistent blogger and Blog Banter participant and he kindly agreed to take over curatorship of the venerable institution in my stead.

Good Luck!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Learning the Hard Way

This June I broke my record for most associated killmails in a month, sitting at 62 with another week to go.

But I can't take credit for it. Last night alone I got on 33 kills, which I'm pretty sure is a record for me for a night's pvp activity, regardless of whether I was FCing or not.

Regardless, I can't take credit for it.

We were running in my favourite Rogue Squadron flavour, Algos with frigate logistics, about 10 destroyers and 4 logi and a couple tackle, when our scout in Sujarento reported a similarly sized war target kitchen sink fleet of frigates and destroyers in a small complex.

I ordered the fleet to jump in and we assault the small complex. The fight was vicious and short as our logi proved to be the deciding factor, killing 10 enemy ships and losing a Slicer and an Algos.

We went back to base and dropped off loot and reshipped. Fifteen minutes later we tried to make it to Tama again and found the same group of war targets in Sujarento in the same small complex, again in a kitchen sink frigate and destroyer fleet.


The outcome was 13 enemy ships destroyed and we lost 2 Algos and 1 Navitas.

We went back, reshipped again, came back... and they same enemy in the same kitchen sink fleet and the same small complex was there in Sujarento AGAIN! We rolled up and went in guns blazing a third time, resulting in 13 more dead Calmil for 1 Algos and 1 Navitas.

I'm not going to sit here and back-seat FC what the CalMil fleet was thinking. I'll give them props for standing and fighting a fleet that had logi and beat them already that night. Perhaps they were testing something out, perhaps they were just having a fun suicide fleet, or perhaps it was some newbies out getting some experience of fighting under fire and learning how to die.

Operation Meatshield: I salute you. See you in space.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Gallente Battlecruiser Conumdrum

Being in Aideron Robotics where we concentrate ship doctrines primarily on Gallente in order to focus skill training and pilot experience, I continually run into a frustration that irks me like an itch I can't reach.


Our Rogue Squadron doctrine applies to frigates, destroyers, and cruisers very nicely. For a quick refresher, check out this infographic:

From last year so may have some inaccuracies now

Sometimes, though, we run into situations where just a bit more power is called for. We have a Vexor Navy Issue loadout and even an Ishtar loadout, but it would be nice to be able to slot in a cheaper yet bigger ship that lends itself to natural training progression at a slightly lower cost. A Vexor Navy issue is 60+ million, but a Tech 1 Brutix is around 45 million, or a Myrmidon for 50 million. Not a huge savings but could potentially open up some interesting possibilities...

Except BOTH combat battlecruisers for Gallente have a big old bonus to Armour Repairer amount.

The issue lies in wasted opportunity. I want a ship that I can slot into Rogue Squadron cruiser sized fleet which make use of logistics for survivability, thus implying a good solid buffer armour tank. While one can make that work with the Brutix or Myrmidon, you are essentially wasting the bonus to armour repair amount. While that bonus is great if you are running active tanks, its not what I want in this case.

Why not the Talos, you ask? The attack battlecruiser comes with baggage such as a higher price tag than even the Vexor Navy Issue and battleship sized weaponry which I am not really looking for at this point.

What I want, what I really want, is a drone combat battlecruiser with a bonus to buffer armour tanking in the Gallente line. Since I can't have that, I'm going to take a look at the Amarr ships.

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