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[Winter] Exploration Frigate Rebalance

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Author
CCP Fozzie
C C P
C C P Alliance
#1 - 2012-08-13 14:45:06 UTC  |  Edited by: CCP Ytterbium
:Most recently updated on August 23rd, details available here and here:

Hello again spacefriends! Today I'm going to share with you our current plans for the tech one probing frigates, coming this winter.

These ships are currently used for Cyno lighting more than anything else, and we want to build their role as frigates for exploring deep space (especially to provide more interesting exploration gameplay for new players). We hope to see them being used for solo highsec exploration for newer players, or to support the combat ships in an exploration group in wormholes or lawless space. They're getting bonuses to hacking, archeology and salvaging so you can use them to both probe and run mini-profession sites.
Their combat ability has also been directed at drones instead of weak weapon bonuses. We've designed them to be able to kill the rats in highsec mini-profession sites, although a combat frig will clear them faster. The ship isn't directly intended for a pvp role, so the ehp remains quite low and we skewed the fittings towards CPU and away from PG. Best way to kill the rats with this ship is fit a light active tank, drop drones and kite.

We wanted these ships to feel like an expedition vessel for newer players, something that can run sites independently and with enough cargo, no ammo use and extra dronespace to take long journeys away from their home base (even if they stay in highsec). If the style of ship is embraced then these could possibly serve as stepping stones into some kind of tech two "Science vessel" in the future.

Here's our current versions of the ships (Updated on August 15th with the changes listed here and August 23rd with the change listed here):

Magnate:
Frigate skill bonuses:
7.5% increase to scan strength of probes
5% bonus to Codebreaker, Analyzer and Salvager cycle time

Slot layout: 3 H (+1), 3 M (+2), 4 L (+1), 2 turrets, 2 launchers (+2)
Fittings: 26 PWG (+4), 230 CPU (+20)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 250(+90) / 350(-36) / 250(+6)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap per second): 325 (+168.75)/ 180s (+62.8s)/ 1.8056 (+0.47)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 350 (+54) / 3.8 (-0.32) / 1072000 / 3.81s (-0.32s)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 15(+5) / 40(+30)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 34km / 445 / 4
Sensor strength: 10 Radar
Signature radius: 39 (-4)
Cargo capacity: 400 (+243.75)


Heron:
Frigate skill bonuses:
7.5% increase to scan strength of probes
5% bonus to Codebreaker, Analyzer and Salvager cycle time

Slot layout: 3 H (+1), 5 M (+2), 2 L (+1), 2 turrets (+1), 2 launchers
Fittings: 24 PWG (+4), 260 CPU (+10)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 400(+126) / 200(-58) / 200(-26)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap per second): 245 (+88.75)/ 135s (+17.8s)/ 1.814 (+0.48)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 340 (+20) / 3.57 (+0.04) / 1150000 / 3.84s (+0.04s)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 15(+10) / 35(+25)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 37.5km / 430 / 4
Sensor strength: 12 Gravimetric
Signature radius: 40 (-8)
Cargo capacity: 400 (+243.75)


Imicus:
Frigate skill bonuses:
7.5% increase to scan strength of probes
5% bonus to Codebreaker, Analyzer and Salvager cycle time

Slot layout: 3 H (+1), 4 M (+2), 3 L (+1), 1 turrets (-1)
Fittings: 21 PWG (+1), 250 CPU (+20)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 275(+50) / 325(-19) / 275(-14)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap per second): 270 (+113.75)/ 135s (+32.8s)/ 1.8 (+0.47)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 330 (+52) / 4.15 (-0.04) / 997000 / 3.87s (+0.04s)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 20(+5) / 40(+25)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 35km / 450 / 4
Sensor strength: 11 Magnetometric
Signature radius: 41 (-4)
Cargo capacity: 400 (+80)


Probe:
Frigate skill bonuses:
7.5% increase to scan strength of probes
5% bonus to Codebreaker, Analyzer and Salvager cycle time

Slot layout: 3 H (+1), 4 M (+2), 3 L (+1), 2 turrets, 2 launchers (+2)
Fittings: 25 PWG (+5), 240 CPU (+20)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 300(+105) / 300(+26) / 225(-49)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap per second): 235 (+78.75)/ 130s (+12.8s)/ 1.8 (+0.47)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 360 (+26) / 3.58 / 1123000 / 3.76s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 15(+5) / 35(+25)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 32.5km / 465 / 4
Sensor strength: 9 Ladar
Signature radius: 38 (-3)
Cargo capacity: 400 (+80)

Let us know what you think!

Game Designer | Team Five-0

Twitter: @CCP_Fozzie
Twitch chat: ccp_fozzie

MeBiatch
GRR GOONS
#2 - 2012-08-13 15:04:19 UTC
i like it... but if they are cyno ships also why not give them a role bonus to decrease fuel consumption aswell like 25% less liquid ozone for cyno activation...

that way they are usefull for non noob players aswell?

There are no stupid Questions... just stupid people... CCP Goliath wrote:

Ugh ti-di pooping makes me sad.

CCP Fozzie
C C P
C C P Alliance
#3 - 2012-08-13 15:13:56 UTC  |  Edited by: CCP Fozzie
We felt that they were good enough as cyno ships as is, and that capital projection isn't really an area of the game that needs a buff right now.

Since cyno lighting is such a big part of their use, the equalized cargo capacity is intended to make sure that each of them can at least keep up with the old Probe.

The avenues for these ships to become more useful to older players most likely will lie with hacking and archaeology.

Game Designer | Team Five-0

Twitter: @CCP_Fozzie
Twitch chat: ccp_fozzie

Takeshi Yamato
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#4 - 2012-08-13 15:33:53 UTC  |  Edited by: Takeshi Yamato
The idea of a profession site expedition vessel for newer players is good.

The role bonus increases the range on codebreakers and analyzers from 5 km to 7.5 km. First, why are salvagers excluded? Second, the bonus could be a lot higher - the spawn containers can be far apart.

Edit: a range bonus isn't even that useful when these ships will likely only carry 1 codebreaker and 1 analyzer and a prop mod to reach spawn containers faster. I'm not saying they need a better role bonus, I'm just pointing out how the current role bonus will barely do anything.
MeBiatch
GRR GOONS
#5 - 2012-08-13 15:47:31 UTC  |  Edited by: MeBiatch
CCP Fozzie wrote:
We felt that they were good enough as cyno ships as is, and that capital projection isn't really an area of the game that needs a buff right now.

Since cyno lighting is such a big part of their use, the equalized cargo capacity is intended to make sure that each of them can at least keep up with the old Probe.

The avenues for these ships to become more useful to older players most likely will lie with hacking and archaeology.


ok that works for me... (though i would still kill for an activation time reduction bonus 10 min is killer for solo logi) like lets say 25% reduction in activation...

i know this is off topic... but it would be awesome if you guys came out with a tech II cyno takes the skill lev V to use... and it only lasts 5 min but takes same fuel use...

tbh 10 min timer is a lot of time for it to be active. (for me who does solo logi having a alt char sitting there for 10 min can be rather long)

but having a tech II one would be nice... increased fittings and such..

that way the bonus on tech II recons might become usefull only 2.5 min when active with a tech II cyno...



other then that these changes look epic!

There are no stupid Questions... just stupid people... CCP Goliath wrote:

Ugh ti-di pooping makes me sad.

Paul Clancy
Korpu no Byakko
#6 - 2012-08-13 15:52:46 UTC
CCP Fozzie, sorry, but for what this role range bonus would be useful? You will still need to move to 2.5 km's to loot the things. Maybe access range for all containers then?
Manssell
OmiHyperMultiNationalDrunksConglomerate
Together We Solo
#7 - 2012-08-13 15:58:29 UTC
This is a great idea Fozzi! This is exactly what I used my probe for when I was starting out.

I agree that the range bonuses should also apply to the salvager module too and kinda agree with Takeshi that the bonuses themselves may not be that useful to begin with. As a new player I would think the cycle time, and scan strength are great. But a drone bonus would be much more useful than the range bonus.

Also the Probe and the Magnete seem to be in a bit of a disadvantage sine they are keeping the 3 slot mid layout and will have to either fit either a codebreaker, or analyzer if they want a shield buffer and a prop mod. But as I type this I realize they're probably better as armor tanks anyway so disregard that last sentence.

Awesome stuff.
Max Kolonko
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#8 - 2012-08-13 16:02:02 UTC
Takeshi Yamato wrote:
The idea of a profession site expedition vessel for newer players is good.

The role bonus increases the range on codebreakers and analyzers from 5 km to 7.5 km. First, why are salvagers excluded? Second, the bonus could be a lot higher - the spawn containers can be far apart.

Edit: a range bonus isn't even that useful when these ships will likely only carry 1 codebreaker and 1 analyzer and a prop mod to reach spawn containers faster. I'm not saying they need a better role bonus, I'm just pointing out how the current role bonus will barely do anything.


I agree - what we need is specialized ships, that are able to fit multiple analyzer / codebreaker modules (like 6 med slots, 1 low, 1 hi)

You could make it ORE ship (noctis little brother) so there would be no problem with making multiple of it.

What You are proposing can be used by newer player, but have no appeal what so ever to older players - we will still use blackbirds for that or other lot-of-med-slots cruisers
Bloodpetal
Tir Capital Management Group
The Mockers AO
#9 - 2012-08-13 16:02:46 UTC  |  Edited by: Bloodpetal
I like it.

Initial reactions::
The magnate has a drone bay? WTF? Never noticed that...

I like the idea. I like the bonus. It's gonna make the T2 ones look like a bit of a laugh despite the warp cloaked effect. I think you're onto something good and I'm glad that you're tackling these awesome little boats.

It's really hard to comment on much of this as it's a bit of a niche boat, but I think you have a good philosophy and groundwork to improve them for the future. I'll be curious to see how the noobies take to these ships as they go.


I don't think this ship needs a salvaging range bonus. I'd be concerned it conflicts with the Noctis and other roles, but I can see why everyone feels that way. It can and will get annoying to be able to do all the sites with a little extra range, only to have to get that little bit closer on salvaging sites. I think that's just gonna be part of the challenge for these ships.

I think the renewed Covert Ops based on this concept will be pretty valuable for those concerned about veteran player options. Hopefully the new Cov Ops will get a bit of a combat utility boost down the road.

Question, are you conceptualizing a new T2 Science Vessel alongside the Covert Ops ships? Or converting Covert Ops ships to "Science" vessels?

Where I am.

Nagarythe Tinurandir
Einheit X-6
Ushra'Khan
#10 - 2012-08-13 16:10:57 UTC
looks great. but i fail to see the idea behind the role bonus.
since they all be more or less kiters to survive the rats, 2,5 km more range for hackers&stuff will not make a difference.
how about some sort of reduction in probe launcher reload time or reduction of the time span between each probe deployment (the most annoying second in eve for sure :P)?
or a reduction in the fitting reqs for the probe launcher.
Dersen Lowery
The Scope
#11 - 2012-08-13 16:19:32 UTC
Overall, these look good. I like the emphasis on drones, and the greatly increased self-sufficiency. It was kind of silly that the Imicus was the only one of them that wouldn't immediately crumble in a fight.

I'll add my voice to the people pointing out that the role bonus is essentially pointless. The difference between 5km and 7.5km on a kiting frigate is negligible, and the fact that you still have to approach to 2.5km to open the container makes it worth even less.

Now, if you change analyzers and codebreakers to work like salvagers, where they drop the loot in your hold on completion? Then we're talking about something.

Proud founder and member of the Belligerent Desirables.

I voted in CSM X!

Lady Boon
Perkone
Caldari State
#12 - 2012-08-13 16:35:30 UTC
Will the Tech2 variants inherit the T1 bonuses?

The concept for the frigate changes is great; but I hope the exploration sites get a bit of a revamp as well. Unless there has been a change, in my experience new sites are only generated at downtime. So unless you are quick off the mark, most good sites are hoovered up quickly by people in T3 scanning ships. So while I think this change is good, it may be a little pointless if you pilots have nothing to scan for.

Jame Jarl Retief
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#13 - 2012-08-13 16:45:22 UTC
In general I like it, but at the same time I'm very concerned that all races are being so homogenized. All ships of this type are going to make heavy use of drones? Drones used to be a Gallente thing, with Amarr as secondary. Now everyone and their grandma is getting a drone bay of their very own. Historically Caldari had the worst drone capability, but now Heron is 1 out/1 in bay less than Gallente.

Rees Noturana
Red Rock Mining Company
#14 - 2012-08-13 16:59:14 UTC
Maybe a boost to the ability to succeed at the actual hacking, salvaging and analysis instead of a range bonus. The drones make sense to me as my exploration ships have usually depended heavily on drones but it does seem a bit too homogenous. Overall, I like the changes.

_ _

Takeshi Yamato
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#15 - 2012-08-13 17:03:27 UTC  |  Edited by: Takeshi Yamato
I think this is a good place to discuss the mechanics of the codebreaker and analyzer a bit.

I feel that it often takes too long to access hacking & archaeology containers. If the player has high enough skill to crack the container open, then he should do so after the first cycle or two. You could set a minimum time to open a container by increasing the cycle time instead. The goal here is to avoid minute-long attempts at opening a container. That just sucks and will drive people away from doing exploration.

A system where the ability to access a container at all is closely tied to the average time it takes to success is not ideal.
Bubanni
Corus Aerospace
Corus Conglomerate
#16 - 2012-08-13 17:15:05 UTC
what about a module that covers both codebreaking and analyzing? so slot wise these ships wouldn't suffer on tank or such?

Supercap nerf - change ewar immunity https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=194759 Module activation delay! https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=1180934

Rees Noturana
Red Rock Mining Company
#17 - 2012-08-13 17:25:19 UTC
Bubanni wrote:
what about a module that covers both codebreaking and analyzing? so slot wise these ships wouldn't suffer on tank or such?


Currently those take different skills to operate. They could combine them into one skill but exploration is already fairly homogenous and that would take even more away from us.

_ _

Liang Nuren
No Salvation
Top Belt for Fun
#18 - 2012-08-13 17:29:20 UTC
I like how you're introducing an explicit exploration ship. Maybe you'll start to move people away from L4s as the primary income source.

-Liang

I'm an idiot, don't mind me.

MotherMoon
Tribal Liberation Force
Minmatar Republic
#19 - 2012-08-13 17:32:42 UTC  |  Edited by: MotherMoon
The EHP should be higher. In fact it should be higher than combat ships. Lots of sci-fi follows this logic, you drop offense and speed for an increase in defense. Even the lore of eve says this is the way it should be. The probe is desrcibed as the strongest minmatar frig in terms of how hard it is to kill. Why doens't the lore match up with the in game stats?

Why does a ship lose offense and defense at the same time in this mmo. It's a double gimp. Why can't we have ships that focus on defense for a change at the cost of offense?

There are no ships fillong this role in eve. The high attack power ships are also the most defensive. It makes no sense, give these ships much higher bonuses, even tanking bonuses. If I was building a strarship focused on EW, I know I would make sure the ships lack of offense didn't also equal a lack of shielding or armor. Why wouldn't a target painter ship be harder to kill than a artillery boat.?

All EW ships should become the most defensive ships due to their lack of any ability to deal damage. I don't think the people playing eve will find this an odd request, many games follow this logic, or offering the player a higher defense low offense utility character. Hell even dust has a dropsuit that fills this role.


EDIT: here is my suggestion. Don't give these ships and other EW any more shield or armor hp, give them massivly more hull. It's not tankable HP but it allows for a ship gears towards support to stat in battle a bit longer, a few more reps on a web or a nuet can make a big difference. These are ships with more room for hull plating. Maybe double the hull hp?

http://dl.eve-files.com/media/1206/scimi.jpg

Deena Amaj
Native Freshfood
Minmatar Republic
#20 - 2012-08-13 17:34:06 UTC  |  Edited by: Deena Amaj
Remove hax range bonus, add AFTERBURNER small bonus Shocked *nervous sweatpearl*

I like where this is going though. <3 probe
Edit:
I second Mothermoon.

These could be a lot more tanky than the usual frigs. A lighter concept of the "tanky" variants of barges

confirthisposmed

I'm probably typing on a Tablet too, which means the auto-correct is silly and fixing typos is a pain. I ain't fixing them.

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