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On Interceptors (Post-Inferno Suggestions)

Author
Vaal Hadren
Imperial Academy
Amarr Empire
#1 - 2012-07-31 08:00:36 UTC  |  Edited by: Vaal Hadren
Greetings esteemed developers of the World's Finest MMO (Back bitter vets! Back!)

With the recent (and generous) changes to Assault Ships, Destroyers and our beloved T1 Frigates, its becoming clear that Interceptors are currently suffering as their traditional target selection rapidly diminishes.

No doubt, you are aware of this and 'Interceptor polish' is on the 'to-do' list.

To that end I'd like to offer some thoughts.

Interceptors have always been the speedy, fragile and oh so cool tackle support ships and Interceptor pilots take pride in that theme (honestly).

I suggest that any radical changes to slot layout be avoided, rather you should modestly augment them all for the Interceptor role (making 'wannabe-interceptor' fits on other ships look, well, 'wannabe') and accent what each Interceptor already does best currently (or struggles to do, as is the case for some >.>).

To my mind the 'no-brainer' approach to 'buffing' Interceptors should be to move the standard "15% reduction in MicroWarpdrive signature radius penalty" to the Role Bonus (as a flat 75% reduction as standard, in addition to the 80% reduction to the cap cost of propulsion jamming modules) and add a new bonus to the Interceptor skill level. Further, due to the plethora of tracking bonused ships on the field these days and because of the sheer DPS buff of many logical targets, an increase to the base speed of all interceptor hulls by 5% would be fitting.


As an Amarr Purist (all my toons, heh) I can only speak with regard to the Malediction and Crusader with any first hand experience, so allow me to rant on them.

The Crusader has lost almost all utility next to an Interceptor styled Slicer fit (with its 20k optimals and high DPS) and, due to the extremely limited Power Grid, Cap and CPU resources on the Crusader, it almost utterly fails as a brawler (an appropriately fit Slicer outshines it here too). This is one ship that - currently - screams for some love.

So, my suggestion is that the Crusader receive a +5% bonus to small energy turret optimal range per level (of the Interceptor skill).

This would return the Crusader to the role it enjoyed long ago, which is basically the laser cousin of the Crow. This is no radical change and would make a kite fit Slicer look somewhat crude next to the TII Crusader when it's fulfilling its intended role. This is as it should be, in my opinion - an uncontroversial one, I expect.

The Malediction is, in many ways, the 'Rifter' among Interceptors. It shines both as a pure long range point platform (with completely adequate defensive anti-drone weaponry) and as a reckless yet wild bleeder/brawler (dual rep + booster, or even plated with TD and surprising resists etc - it's as configurable as a Rifter in many ways too, shield buffer Maledictions can also be feasible). So, if it's not broken, don't 'fix' it (slot lay out changes *waves finger* tsk tsk).

That said, if every Interceptor is to receive a new bonus to the Interceptor skill (and that's the whole point of this post really - make it so!), then let 5% cap recharge rate per level be that bonus for the Malediction. This is modest, uncontroversially 'good/fine/welcome' (note i'm not asking to 'ungimp' its near-embarrasing DPS - though others might) and it fits the Khanid theme well.

That's all I have to say regarding specific ships, I encourage other 'ceptor pilots to offer their ideas for modest, bottom line changes to other the Interceptors out there and to muse over my bolded abstract at the top of this post. I'm really curious as to what the rest of you think. So,

If each Interceptor should receive a unique new bonus, what do you think it should be for each ship?

And,

Do you think each 'ceptor hull should be 5% faster than it is currently?


And,

Do you think a blanket 75% reduction to MWD signature radius penalty for each 'ceptor (what you have with X Interceptor V currently) is warranted now that Assault Frigates have received a blanket 50% reduction as standard (in addition to an extra slot and way more pew)

Discuss.
Vaal Hadren
Imperial Academy
Amarr Empire
#2 - 2012-07-31 11:12:44 UTC
Wow.

I've just read the Attack Frigate sticky for the first time (silly me).

It appears next to this:

EXECUTIONER:


Frigate skill bonuses: -10% to small energy turret capacitor need and +5% small energy turret damage per level
Role bonus: 80% reduction in Propulsion Jamming systems activation cost
Slot layout: 4 H, 3 M, 3 L, 3 turrets, 0 launchers
Fittings: 42 PWG, 140 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 250 / 400 / 350
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap per second): 360 / 180 s / 2
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 410 / 2.85 / 1090000 / 2.91s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 0 / 0
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 27.5km / 920 / 4
Sensor strength: 8 Radar
Signature radius: 31
Cargo capacity: 115

The only possible direction is to certainly add extra slots to TII Interceptors.

In which case the Crusader looks set to receive an extra mid slot for at least a 4 / 3 / 4 configuration and the Malediction would (logically) receive an extra mid slot also, for a 4 / 4 / 3 configuration (with appropriate additions to Power Grid / CPU and Cap respectively).

If that's the case, then coupled with the suggestions of my opening post above I can only say (after picking myself up off the floor and wiping the spittle from my chin) YES PLEASE.

Hell the Malediction might as well get a 5% Missile Launcher rate of fire per level bonus instead of my previously proposed +5 cap regeneration.

I gotta say it's not what I had anticipated and my initial reaction to the Attack Frigate sticky was one of horror.

The changes there are really ramming home the point that you don't want a Punisher (say) to be better than an Executioner (say), only different and better suited to different roles. As such, if the TII Frigs are to follow suit, then Interceptors seem to demand the same 'brute force buffs' in light of 'Project Tiericide'.

\o/

Bring it on.
Scatim Helicon
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#3 - 2012-07-31 11:31:58 UTC
The concept behind the rebalancing is that T1 ships should be general all-rounders, and T2 should be much more specialised towards specific roles.

While I have some reservations about the direction that appears to be taking us in, its clear that when the time comes for interceptors to be reworked we're going to see a lot more emphasis on them performing their designated role of going fast and tackling things. I wouldn't be too surprised to see weapon bonuses going away completely from some, if not all, of the hulls.

Every time you post a WiS thread, Hilmar strangles a kitten.

Vaal Hadren
Imperial Academy
Amarr Empire
#4 - 2012-07-31 12:03:19 UTC  |  Edited by: Vaal Hadren
Quote:
While I have some reservations about the direction that appears to be taking us in . . . I wouldn't be too surprised to see weapon bonuses going away completely from some, if not all, of the hulls.


I share ('d) your reservations (they don't fit the traditional EVE paradigm, 'tiericide' is becoming a reality - it took me some time to develop a perspective that wasn't hostile to what i've seen in the Attack Frigate thread) but I can't imagine a T1 'ceptor' having dual damage bonuses (as is currently on the cards for some of those ships) while the TII variant has none.

It seems to me that damage bonuses are now (literally) standard fare - every single thing they've touched since Crucible's destroyers has seen a DPS increase. It wouldn't be stomachable for a TII variant to lack what its T1 inspiration has.

I'm not saying they should touch the DPS on Interceptors at all btw - look at my OP - and an Interceptor certainly shouldn't compete with an AF for damage output or tolerance.

But I kinda doubt after this that they'll go forward with a ruthlessly specialised 1-task-only kind of TII ship (Interceptor) framework. Maybe, they're certainly full of surprises, but I hope not (tbh).

More of the same but better/faster/longer/more efficient is a better path for T1 to TII progression.

We'll have to see.

Besides I'd rather flexibility and anxious, dynamic brawls than rock, paper, scissors 'only one way to fit a ship' counters.

That kind of inherent 'Pandora's Box' flexibility is what makes Rifters, Jags and Maledictions so damn cool to begin with.
Sinister Zed
Morbidus Comitatus
#5 - 2012-08-04 07:43:06 UTC
Yes yes!

Some of the most sensible things I've heard about interceptors for ages. Glad Somebody thinks they need some loving, because as it stands right now with all the T1 tweaks they're badly done to. I totally agree with everything Vaal says.


Mechael
Tribal Liberation Distribution and Retail
#6 - 2012-08-04 15:22:35 UTC
Honestly not sure how well the T2 attack frigs (interceptors) fare compared to the T1 attack frigs. Ideally, there'd be two per race: one that specializes heavily in damage but isn't as fast as the T1 version, and one that specializes heavily in speed but doesn't do as much damage as the T1 version. If they perform comparably in every other area than the ones just mentioned, T2 still get their crazy specialization (at a cost,) and T1 isn't obsoleted in every area but cost.

That they should all be able to efficiently run a scram/disruptor without much trouble should go without saying.

Not sure on how close this is to reality as I don't fly interceptors much (and therefore am not sure about your specific stat suggestions,) but I think this should be the general goal.

Whether or not you win the game matters not.  It's if you bought it.

Mechael
Tribal Liberation Distribution and Retail
#7 - 2012-08-04 15:27:01 UTC  |  Edited by: Mechael
One thing I can compare this to ... I am a Rifter/Jaguar/Wolf enthusiast. Love the ships. But even with the recent buff to the rifter, the wolf and the jag each outperform the rifter in both tank and damage output. This is a problem because the rifter, despite the buff, is still obsolete in its role as a damage/tank platform. I still have no reason to fly the rifter, which is a shame. It's still obsolete.

Now, if things were changed so that, say, the Jag specialized heavily in damage output (love me my arty jag) while not tanking as well as the rifter ... and the Wolf specialized in tanking while not dealing as much damage as the rifter ... suddenly I have more choices as a pilot. I could opt for heavy tank (at the cost of damage), or heavy damage (at the cost of tank), or a mix of both (at the cost of not being particularly phenominal at either.)

Whether or not you win the game matters not.  It's if you bought it.

Scatim Helicon
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#8 - 2012-08-04 15:38:48 UTC  |  Edited by: Scatim Helicon
Never mind the T2 variants, as things stand the Rifter looks to be pretty heavily outperformed by the new Slasher when considering any role that you'd actually want to use a frigate hull for. That's an example of my issues with the 'T1 = generalist all rounder' approach - especially in a range as crowded as the current T1 frigate range is, all that happens when you push them all into essentially the same role is that some of them get outperformed and marginalised.

Every time you post a WiS thread, Hilmar strangles a kitten.

Mechael
Tribal Liberation Distribution and Retail
#9 - 2012-08-04 15:42:02 UTC
Unless that tackle absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. New slasher also doesn't actually tank as well as the rifter, unless I'm mistaken. Makes a difference when going up against other frigates or destroyers, where small weapons will still be able to land solid hits on you.

Basically, by my understanding, CCPs intention is that both combat vessels and attack vessels should have comparable damage output, while combat vessels should have much better tanks (which rifter is admittedly lacking ... where's the tank bonus?) and attack vessels should have much greater speed.

Whether or not you win the game matters not.  It's if you bought it.

Scatim Helicon
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#10 - 2012-08-04 15:45:23 UTC
Frigates don't really have tanks/buffers though, especially not T1 frigates.

In artificial 1v1 honour duals at the sun, fine, yes, the rifter may have a slight advantage in EHP, but in typical combat all it means is that the rifter will die to the vagabond's autocannons or that flight of warrior IIs a couple of seconds later than the slasher does.

Every time you post a WiS thread, Hilmar strangles a kitten.

Mechael
Tribal Liberation Distribution and Retail
#11 - 2012-08-04 15:51:24 UTC  |  Edited by: Mechael
Scatim Helicon wrote:
Frigates don't really have tanks/buffers though, especially not T1 frigates.

In artificial 1v1 honour duals at the sun, fine, yes, the rifter may have a slight advantage in EHP, but in typical combat all it means is that the rifter will die to the vagabond's autocannons or that flight of warrior IIs a couple of seconds later than the slasher does.


This is true when it comes to combat frigs going up against larger weapons (especially in bigger fleet fights ... the more ships on the field, the more spread out the ships are, the less tracking actually matters as you'll typically always be able to hit *something*, including frigates.)

However, where the combat frigates shine isn't necessarily tackling. It's in dealing with other frigates (or even drones.) Arty jag, for instance, is most interceptors' worst nightmare (barring the odd interceptor that fights within web range, for some strange reason.) If two roaming frig gangs come up against each other, the one with more combat frigs has an edge. In a big fleet battle, even, combat frigs aren't likely to be primary targets any time soon, which leaves them free to deal with enemy frigates (or even possibly to start popping enemy drones, taking some damage/utility off the field.)

Granted, they don't take out frigs/drones as well as destroyers do, but then, they're significantly safer from medium weapons than destroyers are as well.

EDIT: (Tangent) Also ... do not understand the phrase "honour duel" ... isn't honor something that is given to you by others ("You honor us with your presence," or, "Sit next to me, honored guest?") I never understood why people seem to believe that it's some self-righteous moral code that they can use to pretend to be superior to others. Makes those sorts of people less honorable, not more honorable. End tangent.

Whether or not you win the game matters not.  It's if you bought it.

Easthir Ravin
Easy Co.
The Celestial Empire
#12 - 2012-08-04 16:16:39 UTC
Greetings

I believe the intent is to get to all the ships in time. T1 frigates just happen to be a good place to start. I expect that eventually the T2 side will be adjusted accordingly to compliment what is being done on the T1 side of the house.

IN THE IMORTAL WORDS OF SOCRATES:  " I drank WHAT?!"

Ganthrithor
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#13 - 2012-08-04 16:53:05 UTC
Ugh, mass re-balancing. "Well, frigates are better now, so we should buff inties."

But then inties will be better, and we'll have to buff arty-canes and Huginns!

This is exactly what I don't want to happen to EVE. I'd rather have a few useless T1 frigate and cruiser hulls than have people going through every ship in EVE screwing everything up when the current ship pool works (albeit not ideally). How many years will it take to iron out the next set of balancing problems that get introduced...
Vaal Hadren
Imperial Academy
Amarr Empire
#14 - 2012-08-04 17:12:16 UTC
Ganthrithor, you should probably have read the OP. .
Ganthrithor
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#15 - 2012-08-05 21:53:26 UTC
Vaal Hadren wrote:
Ganthrithor, you should probably have read the OP. .


I did read your OP, unfortunately for my brain parts.
Gizznitt Malikite
Agony Unleashed
Agony Empire
#16 - 2012-08-05 22:24:19 UTC
Ganthrithor wrote:
Ugh, mass re-balancing. "Well, frigates are better now, so we should buff inties."

But then inties will be better, and we'll have to buff arty-canes and Huginns!

This is exactly what I don't want to happen to EVE. I'd rather have a few useless T1 frigate and cruiser hulls than have people going through every ship in EVE screwing everything up when the current ship pool works (albeit not ideally). How many years will it take to iron out the next set of balancing problems that get introduced...


While I agree power creep can be very annoying and dangerous, I think that general changes and rebalances are very good for the game. I like the idea that the king-of-the-hill frigate last august is no longer on top. I like that they are changing things and making a very dynamic environment. I think that's healthy for the game, so long as you don't go overboard... You can only buff frigate classes sooo much before they wtf pwn the cruiser class, and same goes for all classes of ships...

The truth is, the taranis was my favorite ship, but it's target selection has been greatly diminished. I used to gank wolfs and jaguars because you could get under non-hull-tracking-bonused 200mm autocannons. I'm not upset at the recent changes, as they've dramatically altered the game for the better.

One another note... Changes should also include drawbacks... buffing the AF's is fine, but they should have been buffed with an achilles heel. Buffing interceptors in fine... make them the fastest ships, but what will there drawback be?
Rikimaru Ichikawa
Imperial Academy
Amarr Empire
#17 - 2012-08-08 07:25:45 UTC
Good point Vaal. Ideally the Inty's can recieve a 'balanced' update with modified drawbacks to compensate where necesary.
Thara Uhad
Imperial Academy
Amarr Empire
#18 - 2012-08-08 07:32:16 UTC
sounds awesome
+1 from me plus le bumpage.
Nakri Noban
Imperial Academy
Amarr Empire
#19 - 2012-08-08 20:18:12 UTC
i agree with interceptors needing an overhaul as it stands they are outgunned and outrun (making a speedster pointless) by a lot of non interceptors they are designed to be fast and agile tacklers but is outdone by a lot of t1 frigs which is something that i can not imaginate was the intent when the ship type was designed
Corina Jarr
en Welle Shipping Inc.
#20 - 2012-08-08 20:37:54 UTC
Just remember, T2 ships will be rebalanced as well.

CCP is trying to make everything decent at something. Its just going to take a while.
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