Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Crystal Ball: Tiericide and Battleships

Back in August I tried to extrapolate the tiericide changes that had been done to frigates and destroyers and were being proposed for cruisers into what that meant for battlecruisers and battleships:

Overall the three battlecruisers of each race are pretty well balanced, with each one bringing something different to the table for each faction. The Cyclone is the active tanker compared to the Hurricane ganker; the Brutix is a blaster boat to the Myrmidon drones; Ferox hybrids to Drake missiles. For the Amarr, the Prophecy and Harbinger both are laser ships so there might be some bonus changes there along with some module and fitting changes that I expect all of the tier 1 battlecruisers to receive. The tier 3 battlecruiser being very new already have a very defined role and balance so I don't think we'll see any changes to them. 
Ah, here we get to the class that could potentially experience the most overhaul. For one thing, there is a huge step in capabilities (modules, fitting stats, damage potential, tanking potential, and price) between tier 1 and tier 2 and then again to tier 3 battleships. Also, there is a lot of role overlap. Take for example the Amarr where all three battleships are laser combat ships. To be fair, for battleships the issues are primarily tank versus damage versus range but with true sniping battleship fleets a rarity these days, and many ships able to take on the sniping role with a few tracking computers/enhancers, we may want to explore vastly different roles and designs for the ships.
I went on to spitball about how battleships could be revamped but we've had more data points on the graph since then so I figured it was time to revise my predictions (and try to leave my wishful thinking out of it).

What do we know?

One thing we know is that CCP Fozzie and co like ships in the same hull class to have the same number of slots. For cruisers it is 14, battlecruisers have 17. Right now battleships vary between 18 and 19.

There are currently three tiers for battleships with progressing increases for CPU, powergrid and hitpoints for each higher tier. In battlecruisers we saw the tier 1 ships upgraded and the tier 2 ships downgraded to meet at the middle (much to the dismay of many Drake and Hurricane and Harbinger pilots).

At frigate level, each factions has two Combat vessels and one of each Logistic, Attack, Disruption, and Exploration. For Cruisers, they have one of each of Combat, Attack, Logistic, and Disruption. Battlecruiser is shaping up to be two Combat hulls and one Attack hull.

What we can say for certain

The number of slots on each hull will standardize, most likely on 19. There will be at least one Combat vessel, probably two: one for each of the factions' main weapon types (and people who think missiles are Amarr's second weapon type are deluded; its drones and the tech 2 Khanid ships are an anomaly, get over it). The power grid, CPU, and hitpoint values will be standardized.

What we can guess with some confidence

Now we get to the meat of the post.

The Armageddon is going to lose turrets and the laser bonuses and gain drone space and a tank bonus to complete the Amarr drone line (Tormentor, Dragoon, Arbitrator, Prophecy).

The Typhoon is going to get the Cyclone treatment and go pure missile with two missile bonuses and a sixth missile hardpoint. I'm willing to bet the Raven gets a seventh missile hardpoint as well (to follow the Drake/Cyclone dynamic).

The Rokh will keep the optimal range bonus, the Hyperion the active armour tanking bonus.

Each faction will have two Combat battleships, but the third will be more of an Attack variant with better speed and maneuverability. Caldari is the exception in that their third will remain Disruption.

What we can wildly speculate on

I had proposed in my August post that each of the factions would have one of the three battleships be a disruption vessel, much like how the Caldari have the Scorpion. After much discussion and thought I am not confident that the developers have the intestinal fortitude to radically overhaul an Amarrian, Gallentean, and Minmatar batteship that currently has a lot of fans. Its easy to change ships that hardly anyone uses, much harder to choose to alienate some players for the good of all.

Instead I'm going to speculate that CCP is considering adding a fourth battleship to the mix so that each faction has two Combat, one Attack, and one Disruption variant. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the Amarrian one will use neutralizers and nosferatu as its disruption type similar to the Dragoon destroyer, while the Gallentean version will stick with tried and true Remote Sensor Dampeners. The Minmatar one is harder; will it be a missile and target painter like the Bellicose (giving Minmatar two missile battleships) or will it go with projectiles and a webber bonus?

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Crystal Ball is all worn out now. Time will tell if I'm close to target or wildly off. Stay Tuned.


  1. Since the Geddon was the template for the Tormentor and Omen, I strongly suspect that it will become the 'attack' battleship and retain its mix of turrets and drones along with getting a fairly large speed increase.

    The Apoc will probably become the drone boat, given that it's the only one of the three that hasn't been mirrored by post-tiericide ships in lower classes. Alternatively it could become the EWAR BS (mix of long ranged turrets and TD), with a 4th ship taking on the drone role.

  2. I would hate to see geddon/apoca re-vamped to drone boat. And I don't think ccp mentioned they gonna change the role of either one: Armageddon: this ship is performing well at the time being, and thus we have little reason to alter it. Apocalypse: is behaving well at the moment, so there is little point in changing it. Anyway, if you wanna stick to drone boat, get a freaking domi! Don't touch my golden fleet...

  3. I think you are dead wrong about the geddon. If any of the amarrian bs' become a drone boat, it will be the apoc, and as a pilot with 15 mil so in gunnery and 2.5 in drones, I would be sad to lose any of the 3 amarrian bs' as a gunboat (esp. The geddon as the geddon navy issue is the only BS I actually like). Also, the harbinger didn't get nerfed, it got a slight buff as the damage bonus per lv is 10% rather than 5% now. I hope the tiericide on the bs level is a bit less drastic than what CCP is proposing for BCs.