Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Thoughts on the Revised Combat Battlecruisers

So Retribution 1.1 is coming out in a week or so and I figured I would give my impressions of the upcoming battlecruiser changes as they stand as of Jan 23rd. I will be taking into account the proposed armour tanking changes as discussed here, including the new Ancillary Armour Repairer.


Prophecy:
Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
5% bonus to all Armor Resistances
10% bonus to drone damage and hitpoints
Fixed Bonus:
Can fit Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 5 H (-2), 4 M (+1), 7 L (+1), 4 turrets (-2), 4 Launchers (+3)
Fittings: 1100 PWG (-200), 415 CPU (+75)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 3000(-419) / 5500(+617) / 4000(-395)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 2850(+37.5) / 750s / 3.8 (+0.05)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 150 / 0.704 / 12900000 (-600,000) / 8.5s (-0.4)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 75 (+50) / 225 (+200)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 50km / 210 / 6
Sensor strength: 17 Radar (+1)
Signature radius: 270 (+5)
Cargo capacity: 400 (+50)

This is a radical change and supports the "Drones are Amarr's Second Weapon System" theory a bit more than the "Missiles are Amarr's Second Weapon System" theory with the damage bonus being for drones. With the large drone bay and big tanking ability, expect this ship to be range fit and buffer tanked to the hilt and capable of engaging small sized and smaller targets with relative ease.

Harbinger:
Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
10% bonus to Medium Energy Turret Damage
10% bonus Medium Energy Turret capacitor use
Fixed Bonus:
Can fit Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 7 H (-1), 4 M, 6 L, 6 turrets (-1)
Fittings: 1425 PWG (-75), 375 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 3000(-516) / 5000(-469) / 4500(-188)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 3125 / 822s(+72s) / 3.8 (-0.366)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 150 / 0.69 (-0.014) / 13800000 (+300,000) / 8.9s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50 / 75 (+25)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 55km (+5) / 210 / 6
Sensor strength: 17 Radar (+1)
Signature radius: 270 (+5)
Cargo capacity: 375 (+25)

I've heard the Harbinger described as the "red headed stepchild" of the Amarr battlecruisers. Not enough tank to compete with the Prophecy, too slow and short ranged to compete with the Oracle (not to mention damage is lower). However, its been hinted at that a change (read: nerf) for the Attack Battlecruisers to limit their ability to engage smaller targets as well is in the works so that sniping ranged battlecruisers and cruisers with medium weapons have a role to fill, so if that is true then the Harbinger, like the Ferox, may find a niche to live in.

Ferox:
Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
5% bonus to all Shield Resistances
10% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret optimal range
Fixed Bonus:
Can fit Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 8 H (+1), 5 M, 4 L, 7 turrets (+1)
Fittings: 1250 PWG (+175), 510 CPU (+35)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 5000(+117) / 3500(+81) / 4000(+94)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 2750(+250) / 723s(+56.33s) / 3.8 (+0.05)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 140 / 0.66(+0.06) / 13250000 (-760,000) / 8.2s (+0.3)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 25 / 25
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 65km (+5)/ 195 / 8
Sensor strength: 19 Gravimetric
Signature radius: 295 (+10)
Cargo capacity: 475 (+130)

Despite my misgivings of the Ferox's optimal range bonus, this iteration is a huge win for the hull. A new turret and powergrid/CPU to fit it, still has auxiliary high slot, modest boost to hit points and targeting range, and huge boost to cargo space for charges to use in an Ancillary Shield Booster. With blasters and null ammo it can fight at the edges of disruptor range making it handy for dealing with kiting tacklers but still suffers from the lack of tracking against close in tacklers.

Drake:
Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
5% bonus to all Shield Resistances
10% bonus to heavy and heavy assault missile kinetic damage
Fixed Bonus:
Can fit Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 7 H (-1), 6 M, 4 L , 6 Launchers (-1)
Fittings: 800 PWG (-50), 500 CPU (-25)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 5250(-219) / 3250(-658) / 3750(-156)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 2500(-312.5) / 658s(-92s) / 3.8 (+0.05)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 140 / 0.64(+0.012) / 14810000 (+800,000) / 8.9s (+0.7)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 25 / 25
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 60km / 195 / 8
Sensor strength: 19 Gravimetric
Signature radius: 295 (+10)
Cargo capacity: 450 (+105)

Originally the Drake was going to keep its 7 launchers and 5%  bonus to kinetic missiles but its been changes to 6 launchers with 10% bonus. The upshot is that it does more damage with kinetic missiles (~ 0.25 more launchers worth) but less damage with non-kinetic weaponry (1.0 launcher less). Coupled with the hit point reductions and mass addition, this is a nerf. The PODLA Drake is dead. But overall is the Drake still a good ship? It will still shield buffer tank like a boss and it gets a bit of powergrid and CPU boost (the removed launcher took up more than the 50 MW and 25 tfs that were removed).

Brutix:
Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
10% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret damage
7.5% bonus to Armor Repairer effectiveness
Fixed Bonus:
Can fit Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 7 H, 4 M, 6 L (+1), 6 turrets (-1)
Fittings: 1125 PWG (-25), 435 CPU (+10)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 3500(-406) / 4500(+135) / 4750(-133)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 3000(+656.25) / 789s(+164s) / 3.8 (+0.05)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 155 / 0.704(+0.0352) / 12500000 (-750,000) / 8.2s (-0.1)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50 / 50
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 55km / 200 / 7
Sensor strength: 18 Magnetometric
Signature radius: 305 (+5)
Cargo capacity: 475 (+75)

Hail to the new king of combat battlecruisers. Doubled the damage bonus from 5% to 10% but one less turret meaning its effective turret count goes from 8.75 to 9, plus an extra low, but the big change is the 750k weight loss which will make it very fast and agile so it will be able to apply its blaster damage. The new Ancillary Armour Repairer and extra low might give pilots a strong enough local tank to brawl effectively in this ship as well as keeping up with the targets. Expect to see this vessel charging towards your lines in a system near you soon.

Myrmidon:
Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
7.5% bonus to Armor Repairer effectiveness
10% bonus to drone damage and hitpoints
Fixed Bonus:
Can fit Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 5 H (-1), 5 M, 6 L, 5 turrets (-1)
Fittings: 1050 PWG (-125), 400 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 3500(-406) / 4500(-188) / 4750(+453)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 2850(+37.5) / 750s(+108.75s) / 3.8 (+0.05)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 145 / 0.704 / 13100000 / 8.6s (-0.1)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 100 (+25) / 200 (+50)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 55km / 200 / 7
Sensor strength: 18 Magnetometric
Signature radius: 305 (+5)
Cargo capacity: 400

Kind of a neutral change on this one. One less turret but more drone firepower (with one Hobgoblin replaced by an Ogre) and more drone bay for flexibility. It will be a flexible ship and still have a niche in solo work with dual or tri reps (including the new AAR), but won't outshine the Brutix.

Cyclone:
Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
5% bonus to Heavy Missile and Heavy Assault Missile rate of fire
7.5% bonus to shield boosting amount
Fixed Bonus:
Can fit Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 7 H (-1), 5 M, 5 L (+1), 2 turrets, 5 Launchers
Fittings: 1100 PWG (-110), 525 CPU (+100)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 5000(+605) / 3750(-156) / 3750(+331)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 2850(+662.5) / 750s(+166.67s) / 3.8 (+0.05)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 165 / 0.704 / 12500000 / 8.2s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50 (+10) / 50 (+10)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 45km / 220 / 6
Sensor strength: 17 Ladar (+1)
Signature radius: 250 (+10)
Cargo capacity: 450 (-25)

A new missile ship for the Minmatar, this vessel acts as a counterpoint to the Drake. Faster with less mass, it will be able to move around the field better than the Drake and since its weapon bonus is for any missile damage type, it has more flexibility against targets that need EM, Explosive, or Thermal damage. Sure, it has one less turret but it can field five medium drones instead of the five lights the Drake has. The bonus to shield boosting almost ensures it will be fit with and ASB for PvP, and two utility highs could see it become the new Hurricane as a result.

Hurricane:
Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret damage
5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret rate of fire
Fixed Bonus:
Can fit Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 7 H (-1), 4 M, 6 L, 6 turrets, 3 Launchers
Fittings: 1125 PWG, 400 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 4250(-47) / 4500(-188) / 3500(-16)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 2250(-562.5) / 592s(-158s) / 3.8 (+0.05)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 165 / 0.704 / 12800000 (+300,000) / 8.4s (+0.2)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 30 / 30
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 50km (+5) / 220 / 6
Sensor strength: 16 Ladar
Signature radius: 250 (+10)
Cargo capacity: 425 (-50)

Poor Hurricane, nerfed once again. No more dual neutralizers of any size, more mass, less capacitor, fewer hitpoints. Its damage profile did not get nerfed so it might be able to find a role between the Tornado and Cyclone as the short ranged brawler, but it will never be as feared as it was before.

Overall:
Brutix, Ferox, Prophecy, Cyclone = Buy
Myrmidon, Hurricane = Hold
Drake, Harbinger = Sell. 

5 comments:

  1. Harby is still an OK ship within armor gang, especially for new amarrian player (laser + armor tanking only, a little bit drone skill for 5 medium ECM drones). Let's say that cane was too good and so easy to fit (for everything), the armor harby was always mediocre——thus the current changing plan sounds more like a buff to me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bah, I still have half a dozen Drakes in hangers. Gotta figure out what to do with them now.

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    Replies
    1. Close range HAM drakes are really fun. I think Kil2 has a video or two using them. 600 dps from a drake confuses people.

      Delete
  3. They are turning my favorite battlecruiser (Prophecy) into my favorite type of ship (drone boat, flexible fit, armor tank)?

    For the first time in two years, I can look at CCP and say: "Shut up and take my money!"

    ReplyDelete
  4. So they are taking my favorite battlecruiser (Prophecy) and turning into my favorite type of ship (drone boat/flex fit/armor tank)?

    For the first time in years I can look CCP square in the eye and say: "Shut up and take my money!"

    ReplyDelete

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