Rebalancing and role development continue in Retribution 1.1 with the tweaking of Battlecruiser-class starships. The new changes allow combat pilots to move the decision of which battlecruiser to buy away from progression and further toward their playstyle preference.
Amarr: The often-ignored Prophecy has grown new teeth through a new role as a durable drone carrier, while the Harbinger has traded reduced hitpoints for increased damage and the ability to fit more powerful laser weapons.
Caldari: The ubiquitous missile launching Drake has been brought in line with its peers through a reduction in hitpoints and a stronger focus on kinetic damage, while the Ferox has received a significant upgrade through a new turret mounting and stronger shielding.
Gallente: The drone carrying Myrmidon has had its drone bay upgraded to allow for more damage dealing, and the Brutix has been overhauled as a faster and harder hitting close range brawler.
Minmatar: The formerly dominant Hurricane has seen the loss of one utility highslot and some speed but remains flexible and deadly with projectile weapons, while the Cyclone has been given a new role as a fast missile ship with excellent active tanking ability.
Building a Better Battlecruiser
The relative power levels of each ship in the Battlecruiser class has been adjusted to create a more comparable set of stats across the board and to introduce more flexibility to how each particular ship can be equipped for battle.
Armor and Shields – Ships on the low end of the scale have received a boost, while ships toward the top have been brought down a bit. The result is a relatively even middle ground, eliminating the difference in defensive strength that existed in the previous tiers system.
Module slots – The low end battlecruisers now have more slots for you to work with , while the upper tier has had some slots removed.
Capacitor and Powergrid – As with the above, these numbers were slightly adjusted to create a happy medium within the class.
Drone and Cargo Bays – Most battlecruisers have seen an increase in space and bandwidth to allow for more versatility and to accommodate a wider range of playstyles.
Tackling Armor Tanking
To properly balance these ships meant revisiting the systems they rely on, specifically Armor Tanking. Skill and module adjustments have been made to improve Armor Tanking, both active and passive, to balance it with other defensive approaches. The most notable changes are:
Armor Rigs - Active armor tanking rigs increase the Powergrid use of armor repairers instead of reducing ship velocity.
Armor Plates – The mass penalty of 50mm, 200mm, and 800mm plates has been reduced by 20%.
Armor Repairers – Powergrid usage of Armor Repairers has been reduced by 10% for medium modules and 20% for large modules.
Armor Honeycombing – This new skill reduces the mass penalty on armor plates by 5% for each level trained.
Balance, Options and Versatility
The changes to battlecruisers are less dramatic than those of the smaller ship classes, but the result is a wider range of choices within the class and more flexibility as to how they can be equipped for battle.
Dev Forum Post: Retribution 1.1 - Combat Battlecruisers
Dev Forum Post: Retribution 1.5 - Armor Tanking 1.5