Thursday, 27 November 2014

I do confess...

The new Confessor is being built before our very eyes, on SiSi. We are seeing the item put into the database. The model gets released. Then the item is available for purchase, and people can sit in the ship and show info and share screencaps and videos. It's kind of cool to see the development work going on, live, on the test server.

Still, no feedback thread on the forums, and no live stats published, so it's a little awkward to give and take and share feedback on the thing.

My impressions of the Confessor, based on these images:
Confessor Traits 
Confessor Base Stats
Confessor Fitting Screen

Base stats are a wee bit lower than a Coercer, out of the box. A bit less armour hitpoints, shield hitpoints, a bit more capacitor. Significantly less scan resolution (325mm base, vs 525mm). Less optimal and falloff range than a Coercer. A touch more CPU at all 5's, and same powergrid. A smidge larger sig, a little faster.

The mode bonuses are interesting and will make this a very skill-intensive (meatbod skills) ship to fly about. It needs to be discussed as three separate ships, really, and you get to choose which ship to fly. I think the old adage "You live or die at the fitting screen" will apply to the T3 destroyers here, just like always, except maybe a bit more than usual.

For instance, you can load it up with beams and try to exploit 120km sniping mode, and use the maneuver mode to get to that range. But you will therefore be gimped in Defensive mode. Or you can try to make a brawler with stronk tank, but it won't necessarily be the optimal fit for maneuver mode or snipe mode. Therefore, you really will probably choose your preferred mode of engagement at the fitting screen, and this will be the doctrine. You will however get the ability to engage the other modes if it, if you aren't the primary, you can enter Sniper mode and dish better DPS. But you're going to have your low slots locked in, so sniper mode won't be perfectly exploited to the nth degree.

This then means you need to fit for your purpose and fly to exploit your primary mode - you aren't going to have a Veritech Fighter style weapon able to undergo a transformation from fighter to mech to hybrid mode and fight awesomely like that. No Macross for j00.

This kind of undermines the whole concept slightly, but there's no way around it really, except perhaps depots at safespots and the like. Which, again, is a fitting screen decision, and any ship can depot up and refit for hard countering a known enemy. So I guess think of it as, choose a preferred mode, fit for that mode, get a bit of flexibility in two other modes....load spare fittings into your hold to ensure your lossmail looks stupid.

Defensive mode promises to be interesting, and for wormholers, probably the preferred mode. The stats are Coercer-like at ~246 DPS and ~13K EHP. However, given the fitting room of 5 low slots, and the ability to avoid blowing your CPU and PG on energized membranes by opting for Deadspace resistance platings, you should be able to make a stronk tank in Defensive mode. Maybe 80% omni resists and 40m sig (~22m in C6 Wolf Rayet?).

The above image of a fitting screen apparently does not account for the defensive mode 33% bonus to resists - so I guess, we should add a third to each of those numbers and come out at 77% EM, 93% Thermal, 90% Kinetic, 88% Explosive. With a 400mm plate, that should see around 28-29K EHP with all 5 skills...and a 33% smaller sig radius, so reasonably tanky versus other frigs and dessies and quite a slippery opponent versus cruiser weapons and drones. Battleships, as usual, are fucked if they get tackled.

Finally, this kind of resist profile means that if you can get reps landed, your reps are going to be very efficient. All you need for frig wormholes is a tanky frigate logi ship, which you don't have.

Sniper mode seems to basically replace the lost Coercer hull traits and then some. Remember, a Coercer gets a role bonus of 50% Optimal. The Confessor gets 66.6%, so a smidge more Optimal than a 1.2M ISK hull. This would see a typical Sniper mode Confessor with Small Focused Beam Laser II's hit out to 44.5km versus 40.5 kilometres with Aurora S (which no one uses).pulse fit you compare the Coercer with Small Focused Pulse II and Scorch S at 16.9km optimal with 18.9km Optimal for a Confessor. Not really much of a benefit.

In Sniper mode, the Confessor gets back some of the lost scan res (750mm vs native 550mm) of the Coercer, and gets double the sensor strength. Because as we know, when you are running a sniping Cormorant fleet, you always lose to a Falcon.

This mode seems to be a waste, frankly. You give up stronk tank to become a shitty slightly lower EHP Coercer which is harder to jam, and does basically the same job as a Coercer - which is to say, it is a shitty sniper destroyer, full stop. Lets assume your Confessor with no pimp costs you 120M ISK. You do exactly the same job as a Coercer (18M ISK) but 16% better, but 50% worse than a Cormorant (21M ISK).Yep, that's worthwhile.

In Speed Mode, your base 1148m/s MWD speedgoes up to a respectable 1900m/s. This is cool - you can go as fast as a shield fit Coercer or indeed a man-tanked bulkhead and bulky rigged Coercer, which gets the same EHP as you do because you aren't in Defensive mode. The inertia bonus is good - you can probably GTFO from whatever wouldn't catch you anyway, and maybe slingshot the odd T1 destroyer or nanoed up Cruiser. Actually, no you won't because let's face facts, a Nano Ishtar is going to keel-haul you, do triple the DPS, get double your tank (if not more) and you can't kill his 480 DPS Hobgoblins, which can still catch you.

Tank mode is fine. But I remain extremely underwhelmed by a T3 tactical destroyer in which two of its 3 modes are basically fucking useless, or replace the stats of the T1 version which you lose out of the box for some Because Of Reasons bullshit.

Realistically, Defensive Mode is fine. It isn't OP, it will merely give you the ability to pick a few fights against larger ships than wou would be able to take in a T1 or T2 destroyer, outlast and tank a few cruisers, maybe with logi you'd be a force to be reckoned with.

But Sniper mode is a waste of time - forgoing 60 percent of your tank to gain literally no range and 5% less nett chance of being jammed by a Falcon. Speed mode you can overhaul and tackle other Destroyers which are, right now, sig-bloated, slow, tankless punching bags with less slots for tank and utility than T1 tackle frigates - and these days, not much more DPS than some pirate frigates. But you can't escape any HAC, or indeed quite a few battleships.

So. If you favour brawling in Destroyers, the Confessor and its ilk are going to be awesome for that, if you bring logi. But don't fool yourselves - there's fuck all chance of having amazing nano sniper gangs with these bonuses. You'll have underwhelming T1 destroyers in 2 of the 3 modes, and you'd better hope your mode cooldown lets you get into Defensivve mode when the Vexor Navy or Ishtar get ahold of you.

The fix?
Sniper mode should give a 100% bonus to Optimal. You'd see optimal with Scorch S of 22.6km, and Aurora S of 56km.

Sniper mode should increase Scan Res 100%, and DPS 33%. Let's be honest, you give up the tank, you want more gank. What the fuck is wrong with 350 DPS sniping Confessors? Not much to my mind.

Speed mode should increase speed 100%, and decrease cap use significantly. The fit featured above has 56 seconds of capacitor, even considering the gun cap bonus and better base capacitor of the hull. Take out the RR in the high, you probably have 1m 40s capacitor. True, that fit has a cap booster, but that's one person's  fitting choice, not everyone's cup of tea. Last time I looked, frigates and cruisers could all MWD around for longer than that, and Ishtars can go forever. This ship needs that luxury, badly, or it will cap out and go dead.

Maybe just scrap sniper mode altogether. It's a shtick of the Cormorant anyway, which is outclassed by the Talwar for nano kitey shit. What we need is either a logistics mode, or EWAR mode.

Imagine EWAR mode - 66% effectiveness of Tracking Disruptors. 66% more neuting. 66% greater web range for the Minnie one. 66% more disruptor range, or damp power, for the Gallente. 66% grater jam strenggth for a T3 Caldari dickboat.

How's that for an idea, CCP? It's clear there's a lot of work left to make these T3 Destroyers worthwhile.

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