Thursday, 20 November 2014

Fixing Battleships....Again

Two years ago, almost to the day, I wrote a post Fixing Battleships - CIWS.

Sadly, not much has really gone on in the world of battleships in EVE online in two years.

The issue is resurfacing on a EVE-O forum post, and it's attached explanatory notes. This document, though 37 pages long, is worth a read as a fairly good document on the 'state-of-play'of Combat Battlecruisers and Battleships. I think they've done a very good job on describing the ships, their roles, and their flaws.

I disagree about the Cyclone, I think it's basically a useless turd herder now, weak DPS and weak tank if you go for a PVP fit and weaker if you try PVPing in it. At 80M fit, you should save your cookies and buy a Loki instead. I mean, it used to field near 70K EHP buffer and 724 DPS. I flew it all the time into battle until 2012, and had a 90:1 kill to death ratio in it. Now i don't even own one - too slow to kite, and too little damage projection. 424 missile DPS with HML's is crap.

But aside from that, yes, BS are in a parlous state. Today's game is drone meta. It's Ishtars online, a ship which can perma-run a MWD, drop drones with 90km optimals, and has a pissy small sig and speeds of 2300m/s. Try facing off against that in a Cyclone with fucked lock range, 1200m/s speed, and inability to fit any form of tank. Yeah, you can see why it's all Ishtars all the time. Other combat BC's get the same treatment except niche brawling uses in wormholes, where they are still outclassed but can at least get tackle occasionally in hole brawls, if you don''t bring DPS brick Proteus or Tengus, etc.

Battleships are in a worse position, as you can see. Some are so rarely used as to be forgettable. I haven't seen a Scorpion navy Issue in the wild in 2 years or more - it's now Rattlesnakes Online in hisec. Raven Navy Issues likewise, a rare bird these days. I do get that people will gravitate toward the most efficient ship, as soon as the EVE Gestalt figures it out, but again it's drone meta. Drone meta suits the afk missioner with the Rattler, because the tank is 230K, so even buffer fit you struggle to lose it afk missioning.

In the past two years we have seen the Armageddon turned from a forgettable, cheap structure grinding F1 AFK boat into the poor man's Bhaalgorn. Domis are still useful, both in wormhole PVE and in Sovnull and other uses, thanks to the utility highs for RR spider tanking, or neuts. It hasn't much changed, it's still a viable thing. Malestroms aren't worthwhile thanks to Tengus being nearly as cheap over the past year, and easier to faction fit for ridiculous shield tanks - and we are talking both the rail Tengu fleets of null, as well as epic link-drug-deadspace solo vid making helicopter dick fits. Both are roles fillable by the Maelstrom, and the Malestrom is not worthwhile because of being a battleship - 1500 sig vs 150, half the speed, a qurter the agility, slower warp velocity.

But even sig radius and agility aren't the only pproblem - this can be resolved by positioning and tactics in may cases. The problem is when you do get tackled.  When you are tackled, or brawling, the problem i shall say again, is the large gun tracking and gun resolution. It is the sluggishness of BS, both into and out of warp (5+ seconds to slide onto and off grid, let alone warp velocity), and microwarpdriving around. It is the poor align times, countermanded somewhat by MJD's. The MWD capacitor usebuff was somewhat useful. i mean, cool - you can now run it more than 3 cycles without capping out. Whoopee. Miles and miles away from miracle permarun which ishtars and others get for free - and at the cost of a fantastically bloated sig radius.

Make no mistake, doctrines these days are built on getting maximum DPS projection (hence Rail moas vs blaster Moas), with maximum maneuverability, lowest sig radius and highest tank. All the BS fulfil in this role, besides a few notable exceptions, is damage projection and tank - but the raw EHP comes with a shocking counter of abysmal sig radius, near nil maneuverability, and DPS is destroyed by the tracking and application problems of large weapons.

Again, we need to look at BS hulls as having slot utility, and bring in the CIWS concept, to provide them with the commanding near-field defence that they deserve against small threats. Either that or vastly better fitting, capability of fitting permarun propulsion or close to it, utility slots out the wazoo and lower sig radius.

We also need Gallente and Minmatar disruption role BS. of course, the way this goes, the Gallente will get the webs and the Minmatar get TP's, which shafts Minnies. But right now it would be a good way of treating the Tempest and the Domi. Or roll it into the Navy Faction roles.

We will still see Ishtars, Rattlers, etcetera for the forseeable future until these ships lose their godly tanks and god drones, and when the Geckos start running out. But don't hold your breath - CCP isn't going to address battleships soon. It has more pressing matters to attend to, like putting more smaller ships with high tanks, high DPS, high mmaneuverability, low sigs into the game to exploit frigate sized holes - the T3 Destroyers.

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