Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Blog Banter 76 - Flagships

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 76th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.
Blog Banter 76 - Tanky McTankFace
At fanfest CCP Fozzie proposed a potential new ship class. Let's call it the fleet commander's flagship for now. This is to try and prevent "FC Headshotting" where the opposing fleet knows who the FC is and alpha's them off the field leaving the rest of the fleet in confusion and disarray. Fozzie mentioned a ship with a great tank but no offensive abilities. Is this a good idea? Is FC head-shotting a legitimate tactic? If CCP do go down the route of a "flagship" how might this work? Also is a new ship the answer or is there another way of giving an FC the ability not to be assassinated 12 seconds into the fight without letting players exploit it? 
Banter on...
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Back in Blog Banter 70 last year which was about Dreaming, I talked about my dream of a Flagship

As a Fleet Commander, one thing I find myself doing when not in actual combat is listening to my scouts, looking at maps on Dotlan Maps, and trying to picture where all the ships of my fleet and known enemy fleets are located. It can be tough sometimes, and this is one instance where I think it should be tough as the skills and expertise of the FC and scouts combined can make the difference between a successful fleet and a complete debacle. 
That being said, at a certain point the number of chess pieces on the board as fleets and parties grow can become very unwieldy and it would be nice to have the option to command from a flagship with the tools to allow a fleet commander.
What tools you asked?

I want a ship with a command deck map that I can use to visualize the battlefield from my scouts and fleet automatically. It would connect with my fleet's transponders and my scouts d-scans and grid visuals to feed into my screen a map of known and previously known ship locations. It would also allow scouts to tag groups of ships as hostile or neutral or friendly, and give up to date status on my fleet position and composition. 
I think it should be tied to a ship, a tech II battleship based on the Rokh, Abaddon, Hyperion, and Maelstrom, so that the reward of having so much information at your fingertips is balanced by the FC having to field a delicious target. (PS make sure the Command Map mode does not work under cloak or in station or in POS bubble.) You want it balanced so that not every fleet includes one, but only the Super-Serious-Internet-Spaceships fleet includes them.

However, my vision of a Flagship above is not quite what this blog banter is about. My idea above is about a strategic command deck I suppose, whereas this banter is focusing on a field tactical command deck, the former about the bigger picture and the latter about the current local situation.

In that regard, I really like what the Command Destroyers have done for the small ship meta. They are extra tanky for destroyers giving me a more solid platform to command from, reducing the fear of headshotting a titch while also providing an easy link boost (which will become extremely important when on-grid AoE links are a reality) as well as the very cool tactical ability of a Field Jump Generator. Overall it has been a great Flagship for frigate and destroyer fleets.

I would like to see something of the same vein for large fleet types. When you get to cruisers or bigger, the command destroyer has a weaker tank and less likely to survive the conflagration, and will outpace the slower ships trying to approach for a tactical jump. But a larger vessel, say a Tech II version of the Attack Battlecruisers focusing on a big Tech II battleship level tank and Field Jump Generators instead of battleship level DPS could work really well. Alternatively, revamp one of the sets of Command Ships currently seeing little use in game to include less DPS but more Field Jump Generator.

At the end of the day, the best defense is being an unknown FC ;)

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