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Combat frigate changes for Inferno

First post
Author
Gypsio III
Questionable Ethics.
Ministry of Inappropriate Footwork
#221 - 2012-04-30 16:32:59 UTC
Seems like even CCP doesn't know what the "bombardment" role is. Probably because it doesn't exist. It sounds like someone invented it in an attempt to describe the Kestrel, but there's no need for it. DPS-at-range, which is what "bombardment" effectively is, is an ability rather than a role. It reflects the modules fitted, rather than the hull and its bonuses.

The Merlin and Kestrel should both be general combat frigates, just using different weapon systems. The Kestrel can act as a ranged support platform as implied by the term "bombardment" using SMLs, or as a close-range general combat ship using rockets. The Merlin should be able to act as "bombardment" support using rails, or as a general combat frigate using blasters.

The proposed Merlin, a pure hybrid boat with damages to hybrid optimal and damage, looks like a sensible starting point. It needs more agility though, Caldari ships are slow but agile, whereas the current proposal is just a brick. Some people may dislike this loss of the resist bonus, but we can give that to the Kestrel. How about a Kestrel with four rockets, bonuses to shield resists and kinetic damage and 4-4-3 slots?

But yes, CCP, you've got to look at all of the "combat" frigates at the same time. "Combat" including the attack frigates such as Condor, Slasher etc.
Cearain
Plus 10 NV
It Burns When I'm PvPing
#222 - 2012-04-30 16:42:50 UTC
CCP Ytterbium wrote:


In this topic we will focus on Combat frigate rebalancing, which affects:

  • Tormentor: role changed from mining frigate to medium range combat vessel
  • Punisher: improved role to fit close-medium range brawler
  • Merlin: overhauled role to fit medium-long range turret platform
  • Incursus: overhauld role to fit close range brawler
  • Rifter: role untouched, it already is made of win and dipped with awesomesauce



I'm not really a fan of forcing roles on ships.

Especially the t1 frigates which used to be the source of lots of variety and fun in eve until the buff to fast locking destroyers made them obsolete.

I have lots of fits I would like to try out in t1 frigates but they are pretty much limitted to other t1 frigates - which very few people fly anymore. (I would be interested in CCP Diagoras giving some stats on how many people fly t1 frigates in pvp after the destroyer buff)

Make faction war occupancy pvp instead of pve https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=53815&#post53815

Andy Landen
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#223 - 2012-04-30 18:25:01 UTC
I have seen more than enough lengthy posts of bombardment and roles and doing all frigates right, so let's focus on the meat now and try to keep our input and suggestions short and sweet. If you have ideas for combat frigate changes for inferno, then share it in short and clear posts.

Frankly, I think that we need more covert ops cloaking frigates, maybe even all of them. They may not have firepower, but they are small and great for recon. T3 sounds great, even with the interdiction nullifier subsystem and other choices just like the T3 cruiser, though I do think that the skill point hit to having a T3 destroyed is not necessary.

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." Albert Einstein 

Marcel Devereux
Aideron Robotics
#224 - 2012-04-30 21:04:03 UTC  |  Edited by: Marcel Devereux
Hey Ytterbium, Any feedback on our feedback? What is your current line of thinking? Any changes to what was proposed? When are you going to setup our daily conference call (or G+ hangout if you want to get fancy) to discuss these matters?
Heathkit
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#225 - 2012-05-01 08:03:11 UTC
"Bombardment" frigates -> can fit bomb launchers

There, I fixed it.
Vladimir Norkoff
Income Redistribution Service
#226 - 2012-05-01 13:48:10 UTC
Ugh. Like most, not a fan of the Merlin changes. Making it a pure turret boat is nice though. And as much as I like the Dmg bonus, I'd prefer the resist bonus.

The resist and range bonus is a staple of Caldari gunboats... Merlin -> Moa -> Ferox -> Rohk. Makes sense, and you are used to it as you advance thru the ship classes.

Now if you are simply moving those bonuses to a different frig, it might be a good idea to mention that. Would end a bit of the nerdrage.
Dersen Lowery
The Scope
#227 - 2012-05-01 18:48:22 UTC  |  Edited by: Dersen Lowery
Instead of frigate categories that are imposed across all four empires, I like the emergent idea of frigates as the smallest expression of a design philosophy that spans every size of ship up to battleships, and maybe beyond. For example, the Tormentor as a mini-Apocalypse, or the Navitas as the tiniest Dominix. Besides preserving more of the flavor of the different ship lines, it also gives capsuleers a clear upgrade path if they want to specialize.

I wouldn't get too hung up on forcing every ship into a category, either. If, say, the Tristan can't go into any available slot in whatever matrix you devise, just make sure it's relatively balanced and let it fly its freak flag high.

Proud founder and member of the Belligerent Desirables.

I voted in CSM X!

Cearain
Plus 10 NV
It Burns When I'm PvPing
#228 - 2012-05-01 20:36:51 UTC
Vladimir Norkoff wrote:
Ugh. Like most, not a fan of the Merlin changes. Making it a pure turret boat is nice though. And as much as I like the Dmg bonus, I'd prefer the resist bonus. .



This really just seems like they changing stuff just to shuffle things around.

The tier 3 frigates are all fine. After the buff to rockets and hybrids rifters are far from dominating. Punisher has it tough with only 2 mids but it is still fine.

Tristan was also very competitive the kestrel was good too - just too predictable.

If they want to bring the other tier 2 and tier 1 frigates up to speed that is fine.

But really the only reason no one flys them anymore is because destroyers kill them so fast you might as well be flying a noob ship.

Reduce the the scan res on destroyers half way between frigates and cruisers and I think there will be some balance. Until then this discussion will just be pure theorycrafting.

Make faction war occupancy pvp instead of pve https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=53815&#post53815

Detenal
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#229 - 2012-05-02 00:32:10 UTC
I'm not that knowledgeable about the ships and all. But as a Caldari specialist, the Merlin is only viable to me for it's tank as a Frigate. Switching it to a gun boat sounds good. Better DPS hopefully, but if you do this, Buff the Kestrel, the Kestrel as it is, is too weak to take any incoming DPS. I currently use the Merlin over a Kestrel just for the Tank and DPS, regardless of specialization.
Alticus C Bear
University of Caille
Gallente Federation
#230 - 2012-05-02 12:11:56 UTC
Like some of the proposals, although it is hard to judge balance without seeing any changes to the rest of the line-up.

I do still feel there is a place for the mining frigates, one of the problems with the role naming convention is that perhaps there are more ships than roles you have presented or that ship roles will be very similar. That said I do like the idea of a drone Navitas.

You talk about looking at the rookie ships perhaps these could adopt some of the mining frigate bonus.

I also agree that all though cap is designed into these ships to be a weakness that perhaps they do need the utility high for a NOS or mid for a cap booster.
Aren Dar
EVE University
Ivy League
#231 - 2012-05-02 14:16:55 UTC
Dersen Lowery wrote:
Instead of frigate categories that are imposed across all four empires, I like the emergent idea of frigates as the smallest expression of a design philosophy that spans every size of ship up to battleships, and maybe beyond. For example, the Tormentor as a mini-Apocalypse, or the Navitas as the tiniest Dominix.


Just to re-iterate my point; one big problem with this (and getting rid of tiers more generally) which I have yet to see addressed anywhere are the cost differentials that currently exist between the tiers vs what the capabilities of the hulls will be post balancing.

A navitas is cheaper than the tristan because it requires far less minerals to make, if you make it too capable and keep mineral mixes as they are then you start to undermine the usefulness of the currently higher tiered ships like the Incursus and Tristan. The navitas currently costs 1/4th of the cost of the incursus or 1/5th of the cost of the tristan to build, so how useful do you think it should be? This issue is more pronounced in some ship lines and classes than others.

The margins on T1 ships are very low because it's a relatively easy thing to start manufacturing them, so market prices will still stay in step with each other.

The alternative is to start to balance out the base costs (and mineral requirements) to match the new capabilities - which will cause all sorts of knock on problems.


Dersen Lowery
The Scope
#232 - 2012-05-02 15:29:42 UTC
Aren Dar wrote:
Dersen Lowery wrote:
Instead of frigate categories that are imposed across all four empires, I like the emergent idea of frigates as the smallest expression of a design philosophy that spans every size of ship up to battleships, and maybe beyond. For example, the Tormentor as a mini-Apocalypse, or the Navitas as the tiniest Dominix.


Just to re-iterate my point; one big problem with this (and getting rid of tiers more generally) which I have yet to see addressed anywhere are the cost differentials that currently exist between the tiers vs what the capabilities of the hulls will be post balancing.


The Navitas is currently 1/4 to 1/5 the price of a Tristan because it's worth about 1/4 as much. Bump it up, which tiericide will accomplish, and I imagine the price will go up, too. As long as CCP eliminates the effects of tiers across the board--in terms of mineral and manufacturing cost as well as fitting capability--this should take care of itself.

That will shake the market up quite a bit, but CCP probably sees that as a bonus.

The choice between an Incursus and a Navitas would come down to, blaster brawler or drone boat? Combined with what I hear are improved mining capabilities of rookie ships, there would be a reason, beyond the manufacturing tutorial, for new industrialists to make and sell the Navitas at all--a fair trade for its being harder and costlier to make. The only real problem then is, whither the Ishkur? I imagine it will turn into a T2 Navitas.

Proud founder and member of the Belligerent Desirables.

I voted in CSM X!

Aren Dar
EVE University
Ivy League
#233 - 2012-05-02 16:16:04 UTC
Dersen Lowery wrote:

The Navitas is currently 1/4 to 1/5 the price of a Tristan because it's worth about 1/4 as much. Bump it up, which tiericide will accomplish, and I imagine the price will go up, too. As long as CCP eliminates the effects of tiers across the board--in terms of mineral and manufacturing cost as well as fitting capability--this should take care of itself.


Well, it currently takes about 1/4 to 1/5 to actually build (they sometimes sell well below cost because they are handed out by the various starter missions).

Changing mineral cost isn't a trivial thing - it's going to cause massive inflation of mineral supply in the market (think of all those navitas hulls that can be reprocessed). In fact, if you were speculating and assumed that this is what CCP would do, the best thing you could do is build tier1 frigates now, in the knowledge that you can reprocess them for more later on.
Jerick Ludhowe
Internet Tuff Guys
#234 - 2012-05-02 16:26:07 UTC
I wondering if ccp intends to change the active tank bonuses to 10% on all ships. If so....
CCP Ytterbium
C C P
C C P Alliance
#235 - 2012-05-02 17:04:55 UTC  |  Edited by: CCP Ytterbium
Here are some changes just baked from the oven.


TORMENTOR:

We were not happy with previous role. It filled bland, as people mentioned medium / long range targeting isn't that appealing for frigate hulls due to the limited reach of small weapons. Thus we modified this hull to provide more flexibility regarding damage projection by adding drones into the mix. Think of it as a miniaturized version of the Armageddon, or the Amarr version of the Federation Navy Comet (but with less oomph, since it's tech 1, not Navy).


  • Bonuses: 5% to small energy turret damage and 10% reduction to small energy weapon capacitor use per level
  • Slot layout: 3 H, 3 M, 4 L, 2 turrets, no launchers
  • Fittings: 49 PWG, 130 CPU
  • Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap per second): 400 / 200 s / 2
  • Drones (bandwidth / bay): 10 / 10


PUNISHER:

Capacitor is back into its rightful place.


  • Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap per second): 425 / 212.5 s / 2


MERLIN:

Again, good comments regarding the ship general role and range bonus, so it has been replaced with the old good school shield resistance bonus to turn it back into the heavy tackler / brawler you all learned to care about and love fondly.


  • New bonuses: 5% bonus to Small Hybrid Turret damage and 5% to shield resistances per level
  • Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap per second): 350 / 175 s / 2
  • Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 310 / 3.6 / 997000 / 3.36 s


INCURSUS:

Needs more juice to run the machinery Scotty.


  • Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap per second): 370 / 185 s / 2


RIFTER:

Nothing much to say here.


  • Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap per second): 250 / 125 s / 2


And some answers to various questions that popped-up since our last reply


  • I THINK YOU ACCIDENTALLY THE VIGIL: Yes, that was a typo Oops Probe stays as the scanning hull, Vigil is the EW hull (discussing whereas or not target painting is a good form of EW is another matter). Same thing with listing the Imicus / Maulus.

  • GALLENTE IS THE DRONE RACE, NO MISSILES!: As we move along and develop new lines, we will consider opening new options like further developing Drone ships for Amarr, or Missile ships for Gallente (Roden Shipyards, despite their lack of usefulness, are supposed to have missiles).

  • TORMENTOR REVAMP AND TUTORIALS: That's a very good catch, but it's not like it was useful for more than a few days before anyway.

  • HOW ABOUT CARRIER SKILLS: There will be no skill change for Inferno.

  • BOMBARDMENT DOESN'T FILL A ROLE, IT IS A MEAN TO ACHIEVE A ROLE: Indeed, that was a compelling argument, and after some internal discussion, we are rebalancing the rebalancing plan. In its current shape, the "bombardment" classification has been removed. Missile, turret and drone ships will now be sorted in either "combat" or "attack" depending on their role instead of relying on an artificial classification. We may even refine or remove that further with time.

  • HOW ABOUT GIVING CLASS ROLES?: We have considered this, but we are still hesitating on the subject, since tech 1 ships are supposed to be versatile, we do not want to start specializing them into specific purposes for now. Early to tell anyway, it will heavily depend on how things evolve as we move along with the balancing plan.

  • WHY STARTING THE BALANCING WITH SHIPS THAT WORKED WELL?: Because we wanted to see how robust our plan was with familiar, functioning ships before moving to more difficult to fix hulls. It may not look like it, but thanks to this discussion, we gathered valuable information that will help us avoid future problems (especially with the "bombardment" removal P).

  • HOW ABOUT THE MINERAL REQUIREMENTS?: This definitely needs consideration as we are removing tiers. However, pricing difference for various frigate tiers being quite small, this can wait until after Inferno release.

  • DO ALL FRIGATES OR NONE AT ONCE: That is a good point; however, while changing all frigates at once is better for balancing and comparison purposes, it is a lot more risky for deployment reasons. This doesn't mean we will not have another look at these 5 frigates as we move to the others, but for now, we want to adopt small steps, see how it affects the game, economy and balance before moving to a massive overhaul. Besides, as said before, we just don't have resources to overhaul all frigates for Inferno even if we wanted to.



That's all for now, hope that helps! Pirate
Vladimir Norkoff
Income Redistribution Service
#236 - 2012-05-02 17:21:10 UTC
CCP Ytterbium wrote:
MERLIN:

Again, good comments regarding the ship general role and range bonus, so it has been replaced with the old good school shield resistance bonus to turn it back into the heavy tackler / brawler you all learned to care about and love fondly.


  • New bonuses: 5% bonus to Small Hybrid Turret damage and 5% to shield resistances per level
  • Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap per second): 350 / 175 s / 2
  • Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 310 / 3.6 / 997000 / 3.36 s
Holy crap! Dmg bonus AND Resist bonus?!! Merlin may very well become an over-powered ****-machine! Me likes! No more running away whenever a Rifter shows up.
Callic Veratar
#237 - 2012-05-02 17:27:23 UTC
CCP Ytterbium wrote:
DO ALL FRIGATES OR NONE AT ONCE: That is a good point; however, while changing all frigates at once is better for balancing and comparison purposes, it is a lot more risky for deployment reasons. This doesn't mean we will not have another look at these 5 frigates as we move to the others, but for now, we want to adopt small steps, see how it affects the game, economy and balance before moving to a massive overhaul. Besides, as said before, we just don't have resources to overhaul all frigates for Inferno even if we wanted to.


A small step is reasonable, as long as the remaining 15 frigates are focused for Inferno 1.1 or 1.2 and not 1.0 of the fall release.
Zarnak Wulf
Amarrian Vengeance
Team Amarrica
#238 - 2012-05-02 17:42:42 UTC
The Merlin is born again hard. I may even let it serve as a rifleman in my beloved corp.Twisted
Dersen Lowery
The Scope
#239 - 2012-05-02 18:56:51 UTC  |  Edited by: Dersen Lowery
Aren Dar wrote:
Dersen Lowery wrote:

The Navitas is currently 1/4 to 1/5 the price of a Tristan because it's worth about 1/4 as much. Bump it up, which tiericide will accomplish, and I imagine the price will go up, too. As long as CCP eliminates the effects of tiers across the board--in terms of mineral and manufacturing cost as well as fitting capability--this should take care of itself.


Well, it currently takes about 1/4 to 1/5 to actually build (they sometimes sell well below cost because they are handed out by the various starter missions).

Changing mineral cost isn't a trivial thing - it's going to cause massive inflation of mineral supply in the market (think of all those navitas hulls that can be reprocessed). In fact, if you were speculating and assumed that this is what CCP would do, the best thing you could do is build tier1 frigates now, in the knowledge that you can reprocess them for more later on.


In his FanFest interview, CCP Soundwave said to sell all your datacores in advance of the coming changes, so we have some official blessing of this kind of manipulation.

The initial shock might be hard, but it would tail off over time, as a lot more Navitas would be lost in combat, instead of being forgotten in hangars in newbie systems. I wouldn't be surprised if the agents stopped giving T1 frigates away--or at least, not so many of them--now that they're all worth about the same amount.

EDIT: CCP Ytterbium: Those look great!

Proud founder and member of the Belligerent Desirables.

I voted in CSM X!

Lunkwill Khashour
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#240 - 2012-05-02 20:43:59 UTC
CCP Ytterbium wrote:
Here are some changes just baked from the oven.


TORMENTOR:

We were not happy with previous role. It filled bland, as people mentioned medium / long range targeting isn't that appealing for frigate hulls due to the limited reach of small weapons. Thus we modified this hull to provide more flexibility regarding damage projection by adding drones into the mix. Think of it as a miniaturized version of the Armageddon, or the Amarr version of the Federation Navy Comet (but with less oomph, since it's tech 1, not Navy).


  • Bonuses: 5% to small energy turret damage and 10% reduction to small energy weapon capacitor use per level
  • Slot layout: 3 H, 3 M, 4 L, 2 turrets, no launchers
  • Fittings: 49 PWG, 130 CPU
  • Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap per second): 400 / 200 s / 2
  • Drones (bandwidth / bay): 10 / 10


PUNISHER:

Capacitor is back into its rightful place.


  • Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap per second): 425 / 212.5 s / 2


MERLIN:

Again, good comments regarding the ship general role and range bonus, so it has been replaced with the old good school shield resistance bonus to turn it back into the heavy tackler / brawler you all learned to care about and love fondly.


  • New bonuses: 5% bonus to Small Hybrid Turret damage and 5% to shield resistances per level
  • Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap per second): 350 / 175 s / 2
  • Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 310 / 3.6 / 997000 / 3.36 s


INCURSUS:

Needs more juice to run the machinery Scotty.
[/list]

And some answers to various questions that popped-up since our last reply

[list]


Punisher and Merlin look great now. Maybe OP now, maybe not, we'll have to wait and see.

I still feel the Incursus is in a reasonably good spot at the moment and doens't need to overhaul planned for it. Give the rep bonus to the Navitas and make it a mini Myrm I say. Moreover 10% rep bonus is too much. 7.5% is good. Let the other 2.5% come from a change to the modules.

The Tormentor looks quite weird now but in a good way. I don't have any clue how it'll turn out but I'ld love to take that ship out and see how it flies.

Thank you for the great feedback we've received so far!