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Carrier rebalance (this is NOT about supercarriers)

First post
Author
Arkady Sadik
Gradient
Electus Matari
#1 - 2011-09-29 15:33:13 UTC
This thread is about carriers, not supercarriers.

The carriers are not balanced between themselves. Current combat use for carriers is either triage use in small-scale fights, or large fleet combat without triage. I'll talk about the triage fits; the imbalance is quite similar for large fleet setups, though.

The carriers would be balanced if each of them has a comparable advantage and disadvantage to the others. They don't.

The basic idea behind the carriers are:

Chimera - good tank, shield RR, energy transfers
Archon - good tank, armor RR, energy transfers
Thanatos - mediocre tank, both shield and armor, extra damage
Nidhoggur - meiocre tank, both shield and armor, extra RR

The tank numbers below are without gang bonus - gang bonus increases the differences between the setups even further. Also, the armor setups use T2 modules for better comparison, even though armor faction mods are much cheaper than shield faction mods.

Archon

Rooks and Kings standard setup:
- http://rooksandkings.com/killboard/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=29570 - full triage
- http://rooksandkings.com/killboard/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=29574 - refit for local tank

The Archon can fit 3 armor RR, an energy transfer, dual reppers and a triage module with no problem. In a fully cap stable T2 fit (RR with triage is cap stable), it has a local tank of 8990 dps and 775k EHP. A fully cap stable local rep setup (T2) gets 11,485 dps tank. The Archon only needs to change one CPR to an EANM to switch between those two fits.

Chimera

2x CST, 1x CET, triage / CSB, invul II, 5x cap recharger II / 4x CPR II / 3x CCC

The Chimera can only fit 2 shield RR plus the energy transfer. 3 shield transfers and no energy transfer require a +3% cpu implant. The only way to get it cap stable with 2x CST is to fill the lows with CPRs, which hurts the local tank quite a bit - in this setup, the Chimera tanks 5599 dps at 752k EHP. A fully cap stable local rep setup gets 10,328 dps tank. This requires 5 modules to be switched (all lows to flux coils, mid-slot cap recharger).

=> The Chimera is worse than the Archon in every single respect, and not by a small margin. The Archon has an extra capital RR which it can pulse for better rep power and it has a better tank. And the Chimera can only get cap stability by either using CPRs which hurt the local tank, or CFCs which hurt the cap amount, making it much more vulnerable to neutralizers. Additionally, switching the remot cap stable setup to the local cap stable setup requires much more work.

These two carriers are not balanced.

Thanatos

Same fit as the Archon, just -1 CPR II, +1 Cap Recharger II.

670k EHP, local tank at 6742 dps (8614 with cap stable local tank), can run 2 remote armor RR. These numbers are a joke compared to the numbers above. But well, the purpose of this carrier is to do damage, not to tank or rep, right?

The Thanatos gets 25% extra damage from fighters. A max damage fitted Thanatos (5 DCUs) gains 375 dps from this bonus (225-250 dps for "normal" fits). That is the equivalent of a T1 cruiser.

=> The Thanatos has an advantage compared to the Archon (more damage), and a disadvantage (less local tank), but the advantages are not comparable. Carrier damage is usually irrelevant and not their primary goal(on the scale of a single gank BS), and the Thanatos bonus gives a very minor advantage.

Nidhoggur

Same setup as the Thanatos.

613k EHP, otherwise identical to the numbers of the Thanatos.

The ship gets a 25% RR bonus. This is equivalent to half a capital remote armor repair system. Power grid is not sufficient to fit a third RR.

=> The Nidhoggur is strictly worse than the Archon, as the Archon can fit a 3rd capital remote RR but which it can only pulse, giving it pretty much the same bonus as the Nidhoggur, except with a much better tank, and the energy transfer for extra utility.

(tbc.)
Arkady Sadik
Gradient
Electus Matari
#2 - 2011-09-29 15:33:34 UTC
Rebalance Suggestion

1) The Archon loses powergrid so it can not fit 3 RR + 1 energy transfer anymore. It can fit 3 RR with a pg implant, or 2 RR + 1 energy transfer with no implant (same as the Chimera).

2) Capacitor Power Relays stop affecting capital shield boosters. The only alternative is to reduce Archon's cap so it needs the 5th low slot CPR II to be cap stable, to balance out the tank penalty of the Chimera, which I do not think is a good change. Removing the drawback of the CPRs sound like a better idea. While you're at it, consider removing that penalty from CPRs completely and just ditch capacitor flux coils - it's not like cap rechargers make armor reps worse. (Hey, now that's an idea ...)

3) The Thanatos gets a 50% damage bonus to fighter damage per level. This ups the Thanatos to dreadnought-level dps in a full dps setup (5.3k dps, 3.5k if highs are not used for DCUs), making a damage carrier actually interesting and useful to field. To balance this out, reduce pg so it has trouble fitting a full triage setup (but without making this impossible).

4) The Nidhoggur becomes a true trick horse. It should have enough fitting to fit a full armor or a full shield triage setup (much easier with the CPR change above) with 2x armor RR, 1x shield RR or 2x shield RR and 1x armor RR with the 2 modules cap stable and the 3rd pulse-able, together with a local tank of 1 resist mod. This gives it a dedicated advantage over the Archon/Chimera (25% rep power and a 3rd module to "pulse" rep), while suffering a strong tank disadvantage.

These changes would make each carrier have its own "style" with dedicated advantages and disadvantages compared to the others.


Side note for fleet fights: When balancing the Archon/Chimera and the Nidhoggur, it would be a good idea to check that a group of N carriers of each type tank just as well as the other. That is, 9 Archons should rep a 10th for roughly the same dps as 9 Nidhoggurs would rep a 10th. The Archons gain rep power from the resist bonus, the Nidhoggurs from the RR bonus. Resist bonuses are difficult to balance around this, though, due to stacking and how they scale with other modules.
Hirana Yoshida
Behavioral Affront
#3 - 2011-09-29 17:20:43 UTC
Decide what role you want them to have first and go from there. It has been 2-3 years since I saw a locally tanked carrier. All it takes is a couple of neuting BS and it drops like a fly, so I say ignore everything that has to do with "local anything" and put focus on RR + 'secret ingredient'*.

* We have had a couple of threads recently regarding gang-links breaking the mold when they apply to everyone in an entire system. One of the little known facts (never seen one fitted at any rate) of carriers is that they along with SCs/Titans are designed to field links (ie. fitting bonus).
Assuming that supers will retain most of their heavy hitter status and gang links are made on-grid only sometime Soon™, wouldn't it make sense to have two principal RR carriers and two link bearers? The differentiation can be made by simply adding a link bonus to Thanny and Nid for instance, leaving Archon/Chim as the go-to hulls for large RR duty (or some other pairing .. you get the idea).

In short: Having all/most of the carriers have nearly the same performance but flavoured in all scenarios is boring as hell. The only one that will stand out is the Thanny due to damage bonus (which is naff to start with). Assign roles and redesign them based on those.
Arkady Sadik
Gradient
Electus Matari
#4 - 2011-09-30 09:48:06 UTC  |  Edited by: Arkady Sadik
Hirana Yoshida wrote:
It has been 2-3 years since I saw a locally tanked carrier.
Weird. Most of the carriers I see are triage fit, and that requires a local tank to "coast out" of triage so other carriers can rep you. But as I said, this changes for very large scale fights. And as I said, this thread is not about those (the Archon still has significant advantages there, but they're not as pronounced and would require a different discussion).

One recent example for those who do not know how carrier escalation in mid-scale fights (~100 ships) works (R&K are the best users of the Archon for carrier escalation, but by far not the only ones):

http://www.rooksandkings.com/killboard/?a=kill_related&kll_id=31691
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHwGiAz_jvo&hd=1

The video is quite good, as it shows the extreme utility of the 3rd armor RR the archon can fit (spread heat damage, pulse to balance out cycle times), refit for better tank, as well as the need and use for local reps. The Chimera having not even remotely similar performance there means that shield fleets have an inherent drawback - the escalation to capital support is significantly worse than for armor fleets. Hence, the Chimera should provide similar performance to the Archon here (shield RR hits when activated, not at the end of the cycle, which is an advantage - the Archon having a slightly better local tank and better cap stability would be a good counter-advantage).
Robert Caldera
Caldera Trading and Investment
#5 - 2011-09-30 12:20:50 UTC
before you start rebalancing them, tell first, whats not ok with them right now??? Dont understand.
steave435
Perkone
Caldari State
#6 - 2011-09-30 12:28:17 UTC  |  Edited by: steave435
Seems pretty fair, except for the Thanatos. 200-250% damage bonus on fighters is just WAY too much, that would, with a pretty significant margin, give them the highest DPS that can be applied to sub caps. If you want to significantly increase their DPS potential, enable them to carry fighter bombers so they can reach that kind of DPS, but only against other capitals. Even then, that kind of DPS (roughly half a SC) in a non-super capital ship that doesn't have to siege is probably overpowered, but adding a role bonus of -25% damage from fighter bombers could bring it more in line. That would put them at 1000 dps with fighters (since DPS bonus is replaced with fighter bomber ability) and 3000 dps with fighter bombers.

As an alternative to nerfing the Archons PG though, a reduction in the amount of CPU used by capital shield modules would help the entire shield capital lineup by making it easier for other ships to include shield RR, and the popularity of the armor tanked caps compared to the shield ones show how badly that's needed.
Arkady Sadik
Gradient
Electus Matari
#7 - 2011-09-30 12:50:09 UTC
steave435 wrote:
Seems pretty fair, except for the Thanatos. 200-250% damage bonus on fighters is just WAY too much, that would, with a pretty significant margin, give them the highest DPS that can be applied to sub caps. If you want to significantly increase their DPS potential, enable them to carry fighter bombers so they can reach that kind of DPS, but only against other capitals. Even then, that kind of DPS (roughly half a SC) in a non-super capital ship that doesn't have to siege is probably overpowered, but adding a role bonus of -25% damage from fighter bombers could bring it more in line. That would put them at 1000 dps with fighters (since DPS bonus is replaced with fighter bomber ability) and 3000 dps with fighter bombers.
I'm not too fixed on the exact dps numbers - I was mostly trying to find a role for the Thanatos that's not covered by the other carriers already ("shield fleet support", "armor fleet support", "can do both with some perks and drawbacks"). Currently, a Thanatos can get up to 1500 dps with a maxed-out fit, and no one uses it for that, so that's definitely too little.

I'm not sure if fighter bombers are a good idea for the Thanatos, but it's certainly an interesting one.

Quote:
As an alternative to nerfing the Archons PG though, a reduction in the amount of CPU used by capital shield modules would the entire shield capital lineup by making it easier for other ships to include shield RR, and the popularity of the armor tanked caps compared to the shield ones show how badly that's needed.
Good idea.
Alex Harumichi
SoE Roughriders
Electus Matari
#8 - 2011-10-26 08:27:58 UTC
Arkady is spot on with the initial analysis: Archon is far and away the best carrier, and the numbers speak for themselves. As for how to fix things... I'd go for boosting the other 3 carriers to have similar performance envelopes as the Archon, and keeping the Archon pretty much as-is. This may need tweaks to some modules, as the "cap relays hurt shield boosting" is a fundamental problem here.

Carriers are logistics platforms, first and foremost. They should all be able to perform well in that role (triage), which means a need for a strong local tank.
CCP Phantom
C C P
C C P Alliance
#9 - 2011-10-26 17:30:52 UTC
Off topic posts removed. Please stay on topic and constructive, thank you.

CCP Phantom - Senior Community Developer

Gevlin
Pirates of the Caribbean.
Phantom Horde
#10 - 2011-11-22 06:08:51 UTC
I think the comparison of the carriers need to be different:

Archon -Super handy at Triage Solo
Chimera Super Hands at Spider Tank Approach
Gellentie - DPS
Nidhogger - Sollo Rep or pure repparing power - best used against Stuctures. I notice the Nid just got a boost to remote repping in this expansion

Someday I will have the time to play. For now it is mining afk in High sec. In Cheap ships

Miriiah
Republic Military School
Minmatar Republic
#11 - 2011-11-22 11:14:22 UTC
Thanny damage needs a boost if it's staying like it is now(the dps carrier), but 50% per level is just too much 10-12.5% or something might work

Chimera just doesn't get anywhere close to an Archon, either local tank will be much worse or the RR will be much worse

Nidhoggur still lacks CPU. (And so does the Thanny if you want a triage shield fit)
Dogfishful
Viziam
Amarr Empire
#12 - 2012-01-19 14:56:17 UTC  |  Edited by: Dogfishful
Removed Post
Duchess Starbuckington
Doomheim
#13 - 2012-01-19 15:46:31 UTC
Dogfishful wrote:
Carriers are fine the way they are.

BTW, if you haven't noticed already, the Moros is now strictly the best dreadnaught, so that's a plus for Gallente. No need to buff the Thanny then.

Caldari is best for PVE, which gives them a plus, so why bother tweaking the Chimera to make it comparable to the other carriers in PVP?

And Minmatar, they are player chosen to be "the best" at PVP, so they have a plus. No need to change the Min carriers here.

Lastly, Amarr. They are said to have the best tank, which is apparently evident to players in the Archon. It should only be suitable that it can be good RR carrier as well. Plus.

In the end, all four races have their own Pluses, and they don't need to be all in one single ship type; if it was, it would be a boring game. Gallente already have the best dreadnaught, supercarrier, and titan, so their Plus is in raw, massive DPS. Caldari have their Plus in PVE. Minmatar have their Plus at being "the best" for sub-cap PVP. Amarr have their Plus for being the best tankers.


There is so much idiocy in this post I'm calling troll. Nobody who has any idea about capital ships could make this many hilarious mistakes in one go.
Dogfishful
Viziam
Amarr Empire
#14 - 2012-01-19 18:36:32 UTC  |  Edited by: Dogfishful
Removed Post.
Asuka Solo
I N E X T R E M I S
Tactical Narcotics Team
#15 - 2012-01-19 18:49:42 UTC
Duchess Starbuckington wrote:
Dogfishful wrote:
Carriers are fine the way they are.

BTW, if you haven't noticed already, the Moros is now strictly the best dreadnaught, so that's a plus for Gallente. No need to buff the Thanny then.

Caldari is best for PVE, which gives them a plus, so why bother tweaking the Chimera to make it comparable to the other carriers in PVP?

And Minmatar, they are player chosen to be "the best" at PVP, so they have a plus. No need to change the Min carriers here.

Lastly, Amarr. They are said to have the best tank, which is apparently evident to players in the Archon. It should only be suitable that it can be good RR carrier as well. Plus.

In the end, all four races have their own Pluses, and they don't need to be all in one single ship type; if it was, it would be a boring game. Gallente already have the best dreadnaught, supercarrier, and titan, so their Plus is in raw, massive DPS. Caldari have their Plus in PVE. Minmatar have their Plus at being "the best" for sub-cap PVP. Amarr have their Plus for being the best tankers.


There is so much idiocy in this post I'm calling troll. Nobody who has any idea about capital ships could make this many hilarious mistakes in one go.


What this man said.

Carriers need massive buffs. In fact, the entire Capital ship line needs buffs and expanding, new hulls, new modules. They need t2 variants useful against supers and new t1 hulls and mods that make short work of sub caps.

Eve is about Capital ships, WiS, Boobs, PI and Isk!

Duchess Starbuckington
Doomheim
#16 - 2012-01-19 22:44:35 UTC
Dogfishful wrote:
More worthless gibberish

And confirmed - a troll. Go away please, people with a clue are trying to discuss things.

Regarding the actual carrier balance: CCP are fixing one big issue at least in (IIRC) the next patch, reducing the outrageous CPU need on capital transporters.
Another thing I think really needs to happen to bring down the stupidly huge EHP gap is nerfing slaves so they no longer affect capitals.
Arkady Sadik
Gradient
Electus Matari
#17 - 2012-01-20 00:07:03 UTC
Duchess Starbuckington wrote:
Another thing I think really needs to happen to bring down the stupidly huge EHP gap is nerfing slaves so they no longer affect capitals.
I think Capacitor Power Relays affecting capital shield boosters while cap rechargers not affecting capital armor reppers is pretty much the major balancing problem remaining outside of implants, and the latter has been acknowledged as a problem.
Liang Nuren
No Salvation
Top Belt for Fun
#18 - 2012-01-20 00:12:10 UTC  |  Edited by: Liang Nuren
Arkady Sadik wrote:
Duchess Starbuckington wrote:
Another thing I think really needs to happen to bring down the stupidly huge EHP gap is nerfing slaves so they no longer affect capitals.
I think Capacitor Power Relays affecting capital shield boosters while cap rechargers not affecting capital armor reppers is pretty much the major balancing problem remaining outside of implants, and the latter has been acknowledged as a problem.


Negative - slaves do not need changed. Crystals just need to affect capital shield boosters. :D

-Liang

Ed: Also, IMO the Chimera needs some major fitting improvements and the Niddy needs some minor fitting improvements. I truly believe the ability to run full out shield or armor setups is important for both the Niddy and the Thanny. I would have said that the Thannys bonus should extend to all drones - not to increase the bonus to fighters.

Also, full disclaimer: Max skill Niddy pilot.

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

Dogfishful
Viziam
Amarr Empire
#19 - 2012-01-20 01:07:02 UTC  |  Edited by: Dogfishful
Removed Post.
Dogfishful
Viziam
Amarr Empire
#20 - 2012-01-20 01:16:28 UTC  |  Edited by: Dogfishful
Removed Post.
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