Last night I went shopping and bought the new Rokh and the equipment to set it up in one of four different combinations as discussed earlier this week. It was an expensive trip, costing me over 200 million ISK, most of which was for the ship (130 million) and the two Core Defence Field Extender rigs (30 million). And I already had a number of modules in storage! This was not a cheap purchase, but it is worth it, I love my Rokh.
When I get some more ISK, I'll probably buy a second hull so one can be my rigged Blaster boat and the other can be my Armour Rep/Sheild Rep/Neut/Sniper variable Rokh.
On a side note, before going shopping I checked to see if it would be more economical to build one from a BPC I had in the hanger that was ME25. At lowest sell order mineral prices, it would cost me over 140 million ISK to buy the minerals, but they sell commonly for 130 million. This is the problem with Tech I markets, too many morons out there who think that mined minerals and mission loot refined minerals are "free" so they build stuff and basically through money away in the process. Sigh.
Ok, more thoughts on the last Dev blog, less important stuff first.
Mining Ships, Rorqual - Meh, doesn't really matter much to me. But that thing about the Skiff having +2 warp strength not advertised all this time? That's something people need to know about devs. I'm just saying.
Deep Space Transports - Exchanging the Active Tank bonus for more powergrid for buffer tank and +2 warp stregnth is a good change. Its not a great change, as they are still vulnerable to gate camps with more than 2 scram points and Heavy Interdictors and they are still as slow and ponderous as ever, but at least its a case of not doing more harm. It will give them a great boost from suicide ganks and lone attackers in low sec.
Blockade Runners - Ok, biggest changes were too these guys.
First off, removing the +2 warp strength and adding the ability to use Covert Ops cloaks sucks. Or at the very least changes the abilities of the ship class a lot. Now it will be more vulnerable jumping through gates, and less vulnerable warping around a system when it gets there. Its not longer a blockade runner, its now going to be more of a hostile system utility ship.
To be fair, a careful pilot may be able to utilize the warping while cloaked ability to evade gate camps just as easily as before, and putting a couple warp core stabs in the lows can give it the slipperiness needed to get past fast lockers if cloaking is disrupted, but I'm going to miss the warp core bonus.
However, the biggest surprise was that the new cloaking ability was accompanied by the ability to use Black Ops Jump Bridges. I was taken quiet aback by this unexpected change and it is a complimentary boost to Black Ops ships as well as the Blockade Runners.
One of the big complaints against Black Ops was the fuel requirements of the jump bridge, forcing pilots to either stockpiling fuel ahead of time in the target system or only using the ability once or twice. Now with black ops strike forces able to be accompanied by a transport ship with much more cargo capacity to hold fuel and/or ammo (and the ability of those transport ships to warp about cloaked during operations), suddenly the concept of an extended raid into enemy territory seems much more viable.
But beyond the obvious use of the change is the logistical flexibility. I don't know how many blockade runners could be jumped through a jump bridge, but even two or three could account for a significant amount of haulage that avoids enemy gate camps. It would be interesting to see if the math makes it more efficient per cubic meter in terms of fuel than a 10,000 m3 Carrier jump. Of course the short range is an issue (4 lys at Jump Drive Calibration IV) but its still something to consider.
Regardless, its a positive change. Anything that encourages out of the box thinking and cooperation is a plus in my books. I know it makes me more excited that I'm getting closer to my Widow Black Ops Battleship with every day of Jump Drive Calibration training.