Monday, October 20, 2014

I Feel This Justifies My Earlier Position

During EVE Vegas it was announced that new Tech 3 Destroyers are coming to the game:
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.

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
 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":
But the concept itself failed.
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.
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.

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.


  1. The promise of modular adaptability never materialized and I think that is what Seagull and Fozzie are realizing now, that often the intention is not always the result. The good news is that they are changing it up with this round, should be extremely interesting.

  2. I would agree that the "switching on the fly" idea for T3 cruisers never became a thing, even if the cruisers themselves are very popular.

    However, I think part of the problem with the idea behind the quick change thing is that fitting itself has always been a bit of a pain in the ass. You should see all the crap I have in my station inventory.

    So I would argue that the whole idea of re-fits didn't even start to be viable until we got the "fit" button the fitting window, that it got a little bit closer to reality with Oceanus and the ability to import fits from external sources, and that it won't be truly viable until pressing "fit" generates a shopping list for the missing items so you can buy the parts you don't have without having to go line by line through the fit to see what you are missing.

    And even then, we're all more likely to sit on the fit we have, and doubly so for fleet doctrine ships where you would need dozens, if not hundreds, or players to switch to the correct fit on the fly.

    And then there are rigs... Yeah, refitting was never going to work.

  3. I switch my Proteus between two or three roles, but I admit that firstly it means all the roles are suboptimal to a focused Proteus (due to rigging) and secondly that if I wasn't so cheap/poor it would be better for me to just have two Protei in station instead.