Saturday, 6 October 2012

Nerbuff inbound

There has been a LOT of discussion about the upcoming nerf/buff (nerbuff) to heavy missiles, due in EVE Retribution, December 4th. (eg; here)

The discussion inevitably occurs between two types of people: those who think in a linear fashion and can only see the penalties to missiles, and heavy missiles in particular, and those who are lateral thinkers and can see the whole package of missile changes.

Yes, the performance of heavy missiles is going to be lower, roughly 15% less range, less DPS. Yes, TD's will work on missiles now, so you will have the ability to get your range nerfed even harder by a foe. But it is not all doom and gloom.

For a start, the Drake and Tengu are just too powerful. This isn't because of the tank, neccessarily, or the ability to fit oversized AB's to the Tengu to make uber kiting pwnmobiles...for 2 billion ISK plus a billion ISK Loki plus 2.5 billion in implants, mind you. No, it has always been the Heavy Missile which makes the Drake so difficult to take on except in a dual-neut welpcane, a proper buffer-gank Cyclone (yes, I did say buffer), or a faction-booster Cyclone with navy 800's. (discounting, ofc, various faction cruisers, BSs, etc). Or in mobs.

The reason has been, number one, short of actual ECM, there is nothing you could previously do to knock the Drake's DPS out. You could knock its tank out with neuts, but you'd need a massive buffer (aka welpcane) to tank its paltry DPS long enough to survive. This discounted Pilgrims and Curses in the majority of situations. Secondly, you can't knock its DPS out. The Pilgrim or Curse can TD a turret ship (ie; everything else in the game which is currently regularly flown) to utter impotence, but they can't stop the Drake hitting them. Ever. Then you have an Arazu or Lachesis; they can't knock the Drake's range dowwn enough to actually stop it targeting them, and if they can, their DPS is so paltry it hardly matters (try finding a 450 DPS Lachesis). Falcon can't break it's tank, Rook may with the right fit, but its chancy.

Coming with Retribution, and aside from a much needed bufff to damps, you will be able to fit tracking speed disruption scripts to a Curse or Pilgrim and kite a Drake, knowing the explosion velocity of his missiles will be so pathetic you can tank him. Or you put in Optimal range scripts and the range of his missiles is cut to below 20km, and you can sit with utter impunity at range.

What this boils down to is a Drake pilot will need to sacrifice tank or an EWAR module to fit a Tracking Computer II with scripts, to jack the range of their missiles back up to where they were before. They will have to consider dropping a BCU for a TE in the lows, to do the same job. It won't end Drakeblob, but this will reduce the efficacy of the blob significantly - which, in the end, will only help to promite smaller gang warfare.

Secondly, this is a stealth buff to HAM ships. Yes, the HAM performance is now worse, but your Javs will no longer turn your Sac into a total bucket of pus. You can fit TC's in the mids to get extra range from your HAMs, and pack TE's in the lows, and get uber kiting Bellicose. This is going to see TC/TE nano HAM Drakes turn FOTM, big time, as you will theoretically be able to get close to 450 DPS and close to 40km HAM range with Rage (might vary when you actually fit it out), and then kite people at 1500m/s.

Is this a nerf, or a buff? It is neither - it's balancing the battlefield away from super long-range capless EWAR-immune weapon systems mated to a brick-tanked cheap throw-away BC. In short, CCP Fozzie has shown you the way - and it is nano-HAM.


  1. Didn't they pull the decision to let TDs work on missiles?

    1. Yup. Sad, but I think it's a smart move. Making sure everything works as intended with the missiles before allowing EWAR to work on them is not a bad idea (although as a Curse or Pilgrim pilot, you will be mad lol).

    2. Nooooooo!

      Curses, literally.

      But they are still doing TE's and TC's?


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