Planned Ship Balancing Changes
As Zulupark mentioned in his recent blog we have also been looking into improving some of the less effective ships.
The Omen has long suffered from a lack of damage compared to the Maller even though the Omen is intended to focus on offense at the expense of defense. The rate of fire bonus to energy turrets only compensates for the additional turret hardpoint the Maller has, so the Maller is a better choice in almost all cases. Because of this we have added a 5th turret hardpoint to the Omen. This also carries over to the Zealot, which is based on the Omen. While the damage output of the enhanced Zealot is massive, in particular in combination with the resistance changes mentioned in Zulupark's blog, we feel that this is where the close range Heavy Assault Ships ("HACs") need to be at in order to stay competitive.
- Omen: 5 turrets (+1 turret)
- Zealot: 5 turrets (+1 turret)
With the introduction of the Abaddon, the Apocalypse became close to obsolete simply because the Armageddon and Abaddon perform better in general. We considered several different options for giving the Apocalypse a role that wouldn't conflict with the "tank" and "gank" roles of the Armageddon and Abaddon, yet not be overly specialized. Eventually, we settled on the following.
- Fitting: 505tf, 20500mw (+5tf, +1000mw)
- Capacitor capacity: 7500en (+25%)
- 10% reduction in large energy turret capacitor usage per Amarr Battleship level (no change)
- 7.5% bonus to large energy turret optimal range per Amarr Battleship level (replaces the 5% capacitor capacity bonus)
With the above changes the Apocalypse becomes a very good option for long range sniping. The main reason that the optimal range bonus doesn't share the Rokh's 10% per level is that the optimal range bonus benefits both beam lasers as well as pulse lasers, whereas the hybrid optimal range bonus of the Rokh only really benefits railguns. Another concern is that the Rokh, a more expensive tier 3 battleship, should retain its range advantage over other battleships. With a balanced setup the Apocalypse can obtain an optimal range of over 190km, which fits within its targeting range of 205km when using two tech 2 sensor boosters. The Apocalypse uses significantly less energy to fire its turrets compared to the other Amarr battleships and even outperforms the hybrid turret snipers in terms of sustainability due to the larger capacitor capacity.
After a significant amount of testing with the changes to the Zealot, it became apparent that the Deimos had problems compared to the other close range heavy assault ships. As the damage output is already the highest of all the HACs, we looked into boosting its defenses so it had a fighting chance. One of the main problems of actively repaired Deimos setups is the high energy requirement, so we have changed the slot layout so the Deimos can accommodate a capacitor booster.
- Slots: 6/4/5 (+1 med, -1 low)
- Capacitor capacity: 1625.0en (+250en)
- 5% bonus to medium hybrid turret damage per Gallente Cruiser level (no change)
- 7.5% bonus to armor repair amount per Gallente Cruiser level (replaces the MWD capacitor penalty reduction)
The above mentioned changes to the Deimos and Zealot allow them to better compete on even term with other close range HACs, such as the Sacrilege.
Caldari Railgun Platforms
Similarly to the Omen, a number of Caldari railgun platforms were suffering in the damage department due to the lack of turret hardpoints compared to their competitors, so we have increased the number of hardpoints as follows:
- Moa: 5 turrets (+1)
- Eagle: 5 turrets (+1)
The power outputs of the Moa and Eagle are sufficient to setup a 5 turret railgun platform so no further changes were need. However the Ferox lacks the power output to properly support an additional turret and has thus been increased.
- Hardpoints: 6 turrets (+1)
- Power output: 1075mw (+75mw)
The Raptor has also been given an additional turret hardpoint, but the combination of 30km range with tech 2 Warp Disruptors and the bonus to hybrid turret optimal range, that easily pushes the range beyond 30km with tech 2 munitions, makes for a potent combination. As the Harpy Assault Ship, which specializes in frigate level sniping, should retain its dominance as a frigate sniper, the power output of the Raptor has been reduced to encourage Raptor pilots to fit 125mm railguns rather than the longer range 150mm railguns.
- Hardpoints: 3 turrets (+1)
- Power output: 26mw (-4mw)
Finally we have added a falloff modifier to the Tracking Disruptors. The Optimal Range Disruption ARM script has been change to modify both optimal range and falloff. The reason for this change is the Tracking Disruptors are largely ineffective against blasters and auto cannons which have a high tracking speeds and large falloffs. Disrupting the optimal range does not affect them in any significant way and tracking disruption is not very effective either because of the large falloff. By allowing the Optimal Range Disruption script to affect falloff as well, Tracking Disruptors can be used effectively to reduce the range of blasters and auto cannons. Skills and bonuses that affect the effectiveness of Tracking Disruptors have been changed to also affect the falloff.
As always, note that these changes are subject to change based on further testing. We will be keeping a close eye on the Deimos in particular. Update: Based on the feedback we have received on the Deimos changes, we have decided not to implement them and will instead keep an eye it's performance when the patch is released.