Balancing Changes for Revelations Two
Hi. My name is Fendahl, a new member of the Game Design cell here at CCP. I have been working with TomB et al. on the sideline on balancing for over 3 years and joined CCP about 2 months ago. TomB, Tuxford, Nozh and I form the balancing team (a.k.a. the Nerftastic Four). Below are some of the items we have been working on for Revelations Two.
Boost the Amarr!!!111elevenone
Amarr have finally received some much needed attention. The tracking on Pulse Lasers has been increased by 25% across the board, which enables the Pulse Laser to better compete against blasters and auto-cannons at close range. Below are plots of the damage per second, as a function of range, of Battleship class close range weapons fitted on ships with typical bonuses, tracking a battleship moving at 150m/s.
Another issue is the Amarrian focus on EM damage in combination with the prevalence of armor tanking in PVP. Armor has a natural high resistance against EM and Energized Adaptive Nano Membranes - which increase resistances across the board - are quite popular on many setups (a.k.a. omni-tanks) because they provide a very good return for the resources they require. This in turn means that many ships have very high EM resists, which is a problem for the Amarr at long range in particular. This is different from shield tanking where omni-tanks are less of an issue. The equivalent modules, Invulnerability Fields, require as much CPU as active shield hardeners and also have a higher capacitor consumption rate. Shield tanking has a natural high resistance against explosive damage, but the Minmatar, which are focused towards explosive damage, have greater flexibility with respect to damage types than the Amarr.
Additionally, shield tanking is less used for PVP, so shield omni-tanks are less of a problem for the Minmatar. In order to encourage pilots to use single resist armor hardeners rather than stacking up on Energized Adaptive Nano Membranes, the CPU requirements have been adjusted as follows: Armor hardeners have been decreased (from 44tf to 36tf for Tech 2) and Energized Adaptive Nano Membranes have been increased (from 30tf to 36tf for Tech 2).
Energized membranes in general have been needlessly hard to fit on frigates as they required 2mw power, so the requirement has been lowered to 1mw like most other "class-less" modules. Finally the power need of Medium Beam lasers have been reduced (from 16mw to 13mw for Tech 2) in order to make them a viable option for frigates.
We have also looked into the problems regarding Motherships and Titans. One of the main complaints is they are virtually indestructible if the pilot knows what he is doing. Even though they are costly to produce, their capabilities far exceed their expense and is something we need to address. Warp Disruption Probes (launched by Interdictors) and Mobile Warp Disruptors will prevent capital ships from jumping or warping respectively. While many capital ships fit smartbombs specifically to counter Warp Disruption Probes, it is possible to keep them out of harm’s way with careful placement.
Doomsday devices have been revisited. The remote detonation capability through Cynosural Fields has been removed, now Titans must be present in the same area as their targets. Additionally, firing the doomsday devices prevents the Titan from using its jump drive for 10 minutes. This means the Titan must expose itself to enemy retribution after detonation.
Logistic Cruisers have also received some much needed attention. One of the main issues was that it was possible to shoehorn in large shield transporters on the Basilisk and Scimitar, but not large remote repair systems on the Guardian and Oneiros. The Logistics now get fitting bonuses to logistic modules, standardized logistic bonuses and increased lock range, which allows them to fit a full rack of large logistics modules in order to repair faster and at longer range. Additionally the drone bays have been expanded; they get a repair bonus to maintenance bots for short range logistic support (or close range defense if you are so inclined) and the base resists have been increased to HAC levels.
Another issue was the general imbalance between Shield Transporters and Remote Armor Repair Systems: Shield Transporters were more cap efficient and Armored Warfare Links did not affect Remote Armor Repair Systems. The Armored Warfare Links have been fixed and armor Repair Systems now have a shorter cycle of 5 seconds and require 10% less cap than the shield transporters, since that transfer at the end of the cycle rather than the beginning.
The Minmatar carrier (Nidhoggur) and Mothership (Hel) had their reduction in Shield and Armor transfer duration changed to a bonus to Shield and Armor transfer amount. This makes them potentially quite capable logistic platforms, in particular in combination with the new Triage mode.
Stealth bombers have been boosted to help them in their new additional role as bombers. All stealth bombers can now fit 3 Cruise Missile launchers and get a 5% per level damage bonus to Cruise Missiles in addition to the 5% per level single damage bonus to Cruise Missiles and Bombs.
Passive shield tanking has also been adjusted, as some ships were slightly too powerful. The shield recharge time on Battle Cruisers has been nerfed slightly and the CPU requirement has been increased on Shield Power Relays and decreased on Shield Rechargers.
Hull tanking is, strangely enough, quite effective since Reinforced Bulkheads are not stacking nerfed. While a ship using armor plates and hardeners can be setup to withstand more punishment, a ship with Reinforced Bulkheads and a Damage Control can do almost as good without using expensive faction modules or CPU/power resources. Because of this, the CPU requirement on Reinforced Bulkheads has been increased so there is a trade off when fitting them. On the other hand, the speed penalty is now percentage based like the Expanded Cargoholds, so fitting a full rack of them does not nerf the ship velocity to zero.
That's it for me this round. May your tracking be true and your missiles swift!