Thursday, April 16, 2009

Stealth Bombers Redux

At the end of March I talked about Stealth Bombers in the new patch being installed today. The proposed rules at that time appear to have made it into the patch notes:
  • Stealth Bombers now gain a bonus to fitting siege missile launchers instead of cruise missile launchers.
  • Stealth Bombers can fit and use a covert ops cloak allowing them to warp whilst cloaked.
  • Stealth Bombers now have a 15% bonus to damage for racial torpedoes per covert ops skill.
  • Stealth Bombers now have a flight time and velocity bonus to torpedoes. The power grid and cpu fitting attributes have been adjusted for all Stealth Bombers.
  • The base velocity of Stealth Bombers has been increased.
  • Bomb launchers can now be fitted to any high slot on the bomber.
I have debated with many people that this lateral change is worse than the current cruise missile implementation because torpedoes, even with the explosion velocity bonus, will be ineffective against anything smaller than battlecruisers. The upshot to that is that battlecruisers and battleships are not particularly vulnerable to Stealth Bombers any more than they would be to any other class of ship.

As DPS in frig gangs, Assault Ships do an adequate job and can tackle and survive better.

As sneaky cloaked-warping attacker of industrials and lone ships, Force Recons do it much better (including the new Falcon now).

Someone pointed out that a cruiser that was webbed and target painted would go down really fast to torpedoes. Well, since Stealth Bombers do not have the durability and mid slots to web and paint on their own, I'm thinking that any gang of two or more ships would be the death of most cruisers. Stealth Bombers are not exploiting an untapped niche here.

There are only two situations I can see Stealth Bombers shining now:
1) Bombing - with the price of bombs dropped by 6 times the previous mineral cost, and the bomb launcher not gimping the missile hardpoints, and covert ops cloak, we might see more bombs used combat. If only they allowed them in low sec :(

2) Covert Ops Gangs - You can get around the fragility of Stealth Bombers by ensuring anything you attack cannot attack back either by the use of EWAR (ECM or RSDs) or by one shotting the target with enough torps.

The question is on the second scenario can the Bombers provide enough incentive to not just bring all Force Recons in the first place? It remains to be seen...

P.S. I've heard reports of Stealth Bombers going for 50-100 million on the market right now. Insane, the ship is nowhere near that expensive to build.



  1. you should of added this Kir


    that alone would be a bigger boost than bombs in low sec and would make the covops cloak nice though truthfully unneccesary beyond attacking someone already in the belt after you enter the system.

  2. btw along the stealth bomber lines a well placed bomb will instapop most frigates and would do serious damage(if not instapop) cruisers this is the aspect least seen of stealth bombers due to the insane price of bombs which has now been greatly deminished i know i will be testing bomb deployment on sisi seeing if i can figure out exactly how they work. There is a lack of knowledge in this area(hint-hint) with the only article i can find being from when they were initially released in revelation and i know theyve changed since then.

  3. Anonymous10:21 am

    I have got to share some data with you bro. 1 Stealth bomber with very high skills (a director friends SB) he hit for 10K with 1 bomb and 3 torps launched. This was against a can...but hey worth noting! We are going on a bomber run today so I will share more this weekend.

  4. I wanted to do some tests last night with my manticore but didn't have any siege launchers in my hanger. GOnna buy some early next week and do some testing.

  5. As someone that seriously ripped a new one on CCP for the changes to the bomber in my blog and just yesterday posted a retraction I can say I disagree with you after fully testing.

    Yes bombers don't kill small targets anymore however I never wasted my time on small targets anyway however comparing them to frigates on DPS is invalid. Yesterday was proof enough that 3 bombers can completely devastate an Astarte whilst it moves in just over 1 volley not including bombs, if I had thrown a bomb at them.. bye bye Astarte in 3 seconds.

    Yes the cloaking delay is annoying, yes the role has changed and I loved my old bomber, never thought it needed "fixing" however right now, this little ship is exciting to fly again. Its sheer unadulterated fun, the likes you only get when flying a wolfpack of Rifters.

    Stick a lone recon in your fleet and you are lethal beyond measure when all fitted correctly.

    And no, keeps bombs out of low sec and leave local alone.

  6. I saw your retraction this morning and I was taken aback. I mean, if Bio likes them then maybe CCP is onto something!

    Definitely going to give the ship an honest try, I'm being convinced by all the proponents :)