Each of the empires will get their version of the end result in the order in which they place… and what they are getting is Tech 3 Tactical destroyers.I find it very interesting that these new ships are not using the Subsystem mechanic. I feel it justifies a position I took in a blog post two years ago titled "Strategic Cruisers are a Failure":
Tech 3 Destroyers
The Amarr should get theirs as part of the Rhea expansion, which other races getting theirs with following expansion. There were even some mock-ups of potential models for the Amarr tactical destroyers shown.
Amarr tactical concepts
But the concept itself failed.Although a few commenters disagreed with me I have seen nothing in the past two years since I wrote the piece that convinces me I was wrong. And now with the new Tech 3 Destroyers ignoring the concept of subsystems entirely for a new mechanic, I feel vindicated in my opinion. Consider this: all the development effort to create the subsystem mechanic and support it since Apocrypha was disregarded for a new mechanic (or borrowed mechanic from siege mode, triage mode, etc) even though they are both Tech 3 ships. The only two Tech 3 things in the game, and they don't share the same mechanic that makes them special. Very telling.
The concept is simple: you can pick what role / bonuses / slot layout your ship has AND you can change it whenever you want. The first part is part of the reason the ships are so ubiquitous but the second part has pretty much failed miserably. Most of the time, you use a tool like EFT or Pyfa to determine what setup you want for your Strat Cruiser including the 5 subsystems you want, and then you buy that setup, put it together, and most likely never change it again.
If you want a Strategic Cruiser for a different role, e.g. a probing cloaky ship instead or your sanctum running missile spammer, you are more likely to simply buy an entire second ship rather than just the mods to switch your current ship. My hanger, for example, has three Strategic cruisers in it: one for PvE, one for cloaky probing, and one for pure gank PvP.
All that being said, I'm super excited for these new ships and the gameplay they promise. More decisions to be made on the fly in the heat of battle? Excellent! More juicy targets trolling the space lanes of low sec? Sign me up.