Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Assault Frigates and the Proposed New Module

I've mentioned recently how assault frigates and cruisers have been squeezed out of the meta.

At EVE Vegas CCP devs announced that they are going to do a balance pass on Assault Frigates and Assault Cruisers, and as part of that pass they will introduce a new module that can only fit on these classes of ships, an Assault Damage Control. This new low slot module is like a normal damage control module with less resist bonuses, but can be activated to give 20 seconds of super resists with a long cooldown (how long is unknown at this time).

The concept is to try and make the frigates a viable option for heavy tackle in fleets (i.e. tackle that can get in close and scram/web to allow rest of fleet to pile on, as opposed to interceptors that usually only point from a distance and do not slow the target down) and to make assault cruisers more viable as a mid range fleet ship more capable of resisting initial enemy fire and to catch logistics repping in time.

Read more details from this article by Jin'tann.

Ashterothi has a quick audio editorial (~5 min) on the topic and he thinks that this concept is not a great idea because it's just another variation on the burst tank as popularized by Auxiliary Shield Boosters and Auxiliary Armour Repairers. In fact, since this module will fit will on the ships and operate at the same time as the repair modules it will exacerbate the issue with a super burst tank.

I can't speak to how this module will impact larger scale combat in fleets except to say that it might improve the lot of HACs versus T3 Strategic Cruisers or it might not work out if enemy fleets are smart enough to force an activation of the module on a target and then switch off it for 20 seconds only to come back while its cooldown is active.

But in low sec, these modules are going to be a pain in my ass if the enemy has them.

Tech 3 Destroyers are already a deadly opponent with the combination of speed, tank, and damage, but at least these machines are hampered by being excluded from Small faction warfare plexes. Assault Frigates with super tanks are going to be able to crash a small plex, activate the ADCU, and push the position more so than any contemporary frigates or destroyers that can fit in the small plex. I predict the current small plex champions, Cormorants and Algoses, will get replaced quickly by assault frigates.

On the other hand, small gang fighting in roams will be very interesting in low sec with these ships as they will act as durable scout / bait / tackle for long enough for the rest of the fleet to arrive. Hell, it may even help to make the Ishkur a viable alternative to the double-rep Incursus I'm so fond of.

Regardless, I'm pleased CCP is looking into these ship classes and look forward to trying them out once they receive some attention.

P.S. I've been radio silent the past few weeks due to a project at work eating all my free time. Its finally letting up.


  1. I am curious if this burst resist will work in the advanced PvE missions that were created a couple years ago. ( I have forgotten their name). If all those wonderful scrams and webs used by the high end PvE frigates are nullified for even 20 seconds, a lot of those missions become a joke with AF's. But I am sure the idiots at CCP who think this stuff up never consider high sec anyway.

    1. Anonymous4:03 pm

      Burner Missions - actually called Anomic Agent, Team and Base missions. They will be a joke indeed, but it will soon be the go to PVe content as they are quite lucrative.