Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Black Ops Covert Ops Cloak : The Case For And Against

Case: The Black Ops battleships should be allowed to fit and use Covert Ops cloaks.


Its hard to be sneaky when they see you coming.

Black Ops ships are built not for front line combat but for asymmetric guerrilla warfare behind enemy lines, using covert ops ships to set up covert cynos to bypass major enemy encampments and strike at miners, ratters, supply lines, cyno jammers, etc that are not easy reached by conventional forces due to the nature of immediate local.

All of the ships that the Black Ops jump bridge can move use Covert Ops cloaks: Covert Ops frigs, Stealth Bombers, Force Recons, and Blockade Runners. Each one brings a specialized role to the force that can arrive secretly and suddenly and approach unseen. The centre of the fleet, the lynchpin of the operation, cannot warp hidden and instead must annouce its presence to anyone with a Directional Scanner or anyone on the grid. Its like having a guy with a flashlight and clanking metal armour leading a team of Navy SEALs.

Being able to use a covert ops cloak would not unbalance this class if it retained a decent recalibration period to prevent it from being used as a sneak attack ship like a stealth bomber. It would simply allow Black Ops pilots the ability to muster the forces into enemy systems and navigate with them without giving the game up to the enemy.

Improved cloaks are good for ships that want to sit still and hide. The Black Ops ships need to be able to move, much like Stealth Bombers needed to be able to navigate in order to become a real threat. Give them covert ops cloaks.


Covert Ops cloaks are already overused in the game.

Using these powerful modules on ships with extremely specific roles is one thing; like Blockade Runner slipping past gate camps, Covert Ops frigs scouting out systems, and Stealth Bombers moving in for sudden sneak attacks. But Covert Ops cloaks on Force Recons is too much: the combat power of a tech II cruiser with the maneuvurability of a ship that can warp cloaked should be removed. Bonuses to Improved Cloak sure, but force those ships to plan ahead and get in position like the rest of them.

For the same reason, the bigger and nastier Black Ops Battleships should not be given free reign to terrorize systems with almost no risk of capture itself. They are indeed not front line ships, but utility ships directing and sending the troops into battle, providing backup if needed but otherwise staying in the shadows and moving only when its safe.

If Covert Ops cloaks are given to Black Ops Battleships, we will start to see proliferation of these ships into purposes they were never meant for. For example they will become the "third man in" in fights where one side is fooled into thinking they have a fair fight then suddenly another pilot or two uncloaks not in Force Recons, but big, nasty, tanking, damage dealing battleships.

Keep Black Ops battleships in their place. Deny them access to the covert ops cloak.

For Rebuttal:

No one is going to use massively expensive covert ops battleships when much more affordable and still very powerful Force Recons are available. The cloak would merely give the ship class the ability to function in behind enemy lines as well as the fleet it accompanies.

Against Rebuttal:

The playbase is very clever and much of the experienced players are very rich. Give them a hook, line, and pole for fishing, and they will find a way to use it to bash their neighbour over the head, gouge his eyes out, and strangle him to steal his wife. Black Ops are fine.

Jury, what say you?


  1. I am for the idea of black ops being given covert ops cloaks, but I think that if this were to go ahead then they would need to be modified so that they won't be used in the way force recons are used. We don't want fleets of sniping battleships uncloaking and taking out anything from carriers to POS. I see black ops BS as filling a "leadership" role in covert fleets, so it seems like a natural extension to allow the fitting of multiple gang links, but reducing the ability to fit battleship-sized weapons. We don't have a covert battlecruiser, after all...

  2. Anonymous1:10 pm

    As things Currently Stand I am against almost all cloaks (the specialized ships excluded) so on the first part I say not only no but HELL no.

    However if given a sea state change ( i.e. removing cloaks from anything EXCEPT those in your article) I would be all for it.

    Cloaks IMO are utterly broken..thus any expansion of them (within the current system where anything can put a cloak on) seems idiotic...'under the hood' so to speak... I support the idea of the black ops and bombers and covert ops/ force recons BEING THE ONLY ones that can use them...but when everyone else can ALREADY cloak...I'd say it overpowers them.

  3. I wanted to leave a comment about this, but it soon turned out that it would be a really long one... so I posted about it on my own blog:

    "Do Black Ops Battleships Need a Covert Ops Cloak?" - My View

    I have mixed feelings on this matter, which I detailed in the article.

    The TL;DR version: put it on the test server, ask players' help to test different scenarios; if a green lite is given, determine any imbalances and unfair advantages the black ops would have with the new feature and bring them in line. Spare the nerfbat, please.

  4. Just a quickie to say I always assumed that they could use covert ops cloaks. The ability to use them does fit in with the ship's role but then I have no experience on this.

  5. Why not give Black Ops ships Covert Ops cloaks, but make them battlecruisers instead of battleships.