Last week there was a dev blog published with more details on the Minmatar Tornado and the three other ships (one for each race) coming with it:
We couldn‘t just give the Minmatar a new ship and leave the other factions out (NPC military escalation doesn’t work like that), so, in the spririt of mutually assured destruction, each of the factions have sent their best engineers and scientists to the drafting boards and will also be rolling out a new tier 3 battlecruiser.The first thought that came to my mind is "pocket battleships". And while part of me squealed in glee a part of me, a very Bitter Old Vet part of me, had some serious questions.
„But isn‘t the Tornado a battleship?“
According to the original concept it was, yes. But when reviewing the armadas of existing ships we came to the conclusion that it would make much more sense to add another tier of battlecruisers instead of a fourth battleship tier, and that the accessibility of bc skills would mean more of these ships might be in the hands of younger, brasher pilots. That means more pew pew pew overall.
What sets these new battlecruisers apart from their lower tier cousins?
The most unique thing about them is that they will be able to fit battleship-sized weapons. Yes, you heard correctly... battlecruisers with oversized guns.
They will be capable of similar damage output as a battleship but obviously all that damage comes at a price.They won‘t be able to tank like a battleship, but what they lack in the tanking department the right pilot should be able to somewhat make up for with speed and distance management. Those looking to start minmaxing fleets of TÖTALHELLDEATH will have to wait a bit for the stats.
1) Take a look in that dev blog at the second image. The original submitted concept art and the CCP artist rendition indicate 8 turret hardpoints, that's on one side and let's assume there is 8 more on the other side. That makes 8 guns, battleship sized guns. Will they have enough bonus to fit the largest battleship weapons, or just the smallest (e.g. Neutron blaster cannons versus Electron blaster cannons)? If they can fit the biggest weapons, is there some balance concern about a ship with the order of magnitude DPS of the tier 3 battleships and the signature and mobility of battlecruisers?
2) Tier 1 battlecruisers are already obsoleted for the most part by the tier 2 BCs. Won't this simply negate their usefulness more?
3) Do we really need more DPS?
4) Will this not make many unused battleships even more unused?
Now until we see some numbers this is all just unease. The fact remains that battleships tank better than battlecruisers and there is no indication that these ships will be super tanked like the Drake. And battleship weapons do have serious tracking concerns that gives these new ships a distinct disadvantage in same class conflict.
But I really wish CCP had used a titch more imagination. For example, they could have been tech 1 heavy exploration ships: the scanning bonuses of the Tech 1 astrometrics frigs, the marauder bonus of 100% to weapon damage, but only four cruiser sized weapon hardpoints (so they hit like 8). Utility slots for scan probe launcher, salvager, etc.
Regardless, we'll see what CCP has in mind once we see the actual stats.