These forums have been archived and are now read-only.

The new forums are live and can be found at https://forums.eveonline.com/

Player Features and Ideas Discussion

 
  • Topic is locked indefinitely.
 

Make T3 cruisers useful for adaptability, not focused min/maxing

Author
Barrogh Habalu
Imperial Shipment
Amarr Empire
#1 - 2015-07-20 10:45:09 UTC
PSA: This is totally original original idea noone ever proposed...

Okay, jokes aside, I decided to bring it here since the idea is mentioned from time to time by different people and I think it's time to start discussing it in a dedicated thread. I invite everyone interested in T3 cruisers and experienced in their usage into discussion, please feel free to point out flaws and suggest numbers and features for this proposal. I will update OP with your input.

Situation:

It was claimed that general idea behind T3 ships is their versatility as opposed to specialization of T2. However, what happened to T3 cruisers is that they are essentially “build your own ship” kits that are used in a variety of ways, which may result in many things other than those hypothetical versatile ships. While it’s possible to come up with a multipurpose ship by combining, for example, utility bonuses with good combat capability, it’s very common to see fits that essentially mimic specialist T2 ships but that simply have better stats.

Premise:

In order to be useful while also not obsoleting other ships, T3 cruisers must not be desirable for T2 job over T2 ships, but at the same time there should be a reason to fly one. It is suggested that they should have something unique going for them to make people consider T3 cruiser specifically.
Currently there is already unique ability T3 cruisers possess, which is ability to be reconfigured way beyond simple module refitting available for other ships by changing subsystems. Today you can already do it anywhere in space by having mobile depot with you. We can capitalize on this existing idea and balance T3 cruisers around it.
Barrogh Habalu
Imperial Shipment
Amarr Empire
#2 - 2015-07-20 10:45:30 UTC  |  Edited by: Barrogh Habalu
Proposal:

Build T3 cruiser around their ability to “transform” by implementing following features and changes:

1. Introduce “Strategic reconfiguration bays”

All T3 cruisers gain specialized cargoholds that can only hold subsystems for this specific hull. For example, Legion will only be able to carry Amarr subsystems in its specialized bay, Tengu - only Caldari ones etc.
In my opinion it should be able to hold at least 3-5 subsystems. The idea is to comfortably support more than 2 configurations that may share a few subsystems, although if anything, there will still be your normal cargohold to use, of course.
Please make your suggestions on size of this bay and explain why.

2. Allow T3 ships to enter special reconfiguration mode.

Now that activating modules isn’t the only way to dynamically affect ship properties and hulls can have active features as well, I suggest that T3 cruiser should be able to enter special mode allowing it to use its special features without absolutely having to use third-party hardware (such as mobile depot). That said, refitting at depots may offer certain tradeoffs and still be used when needed. Options are good to have.

Entering reconfiguration mode has following effects:
- Ship cannot move, warp, use jump bridges or activate any modules while in it.
- Reconfiguration mode has “spool up” period of 30 seconds, during which ship cannot switch back to normal mode or use its benefits, but aforementioned penalties are applied immediately.
- After spool up period is completed, pilot gains access to full refitting abilities, including changing subsystems, modules, instantly swapping charges and onlining/offlining any modules without normal restrictions associated with doing that while in space.
- Ship is immediately fully operational upon switching to normal mode.
- Unable to enter reconfiguration mode while under gate cloak (or normal one for that matter) and during warp. Just had to clarify this because of how hull modes currently work for T3Ds.

Please share your input if you have any problems with spool up duration or other properties of modes, including potential issues with using this mode to speed up reload times of ancillary reps and rapid launchers (although to be honest, I believe this shouldn’t be a problem because of other drawbacks associated with using reconfiguration mode).

3. Rebalance subsystems.

In order for T3 cruisers to gain their niche instead of forcing T2 ships out of theirs, I suggest a rebalance of subsystem stats to ensure that T3Cs cannot significantly outperform specialized ships in any configuration even for extra price they will cost. This should mean that, generally speaking, if you don’t intend to use T3C for its ability to “transform”, then you will be better off using T2 ships in most cases.
Meanwhile I would like to see “hybrid” builds that combine different bonuses for utility with other abilities (like damage dealing or travel benefits) rather than min-maxing straight combat potential to remain somewhat viable outside of application of their reconfiguration abilities.

For example, if you want to have neuting HAM boat, then you you’ll naturally want to use Legion, but you should consider that you won’t be getting combat performance of Sacrilege and your neuting will be nothing like Curse. At the same time, if you want laser boat, or cloaky neut boat, then your choices should be, respectively, Zealot or Pilgrim, unless you know you will want to reconfigure your ship at some point.

4. Tweak subsystems cost (probably).

Material cost of subsystems should probably be reduced and drop rates of “blueprints” (relics for reverse engineering) should be slightly improved to accommodate for the fact that from now on flying with many additional subsystems in your hold is the norm and not a luxury. Single purpose T3Cs with no additional subsystems should still cost more than T2 cruisers to further discourage using T3s of T2s whenever T2 ships can adequately accomplish task at hand.

5. Remove SP penalty upon ship loss.

Presented changes are intended to ensure that T3 cruisers are not some kind of “power up” at a price. When used in some creative ways to make specialized ship that doesn’t step on other ships’ toes, they should not generally be more powerful than the latter and thus should not warrant additional cost (SP) to use. I also believe that proposed changes are already enough to take care of incentives to use T3 ships in existing T2-filled niches.

Finally, if you are using T3C as intended by this proposal, you are already paying extra for additional subsystems and modules that simply don’t affect your ship at a particular moment of time. Downsides of switching modes or difficulties associated with using depot during PvP encounter are there to limit ability of those spare fitting to affect an outcome of a single encounter. This means that you already pay extra price for versatility alone, but versatility you can’t practically turn into min-max advantage as long as you’re held in check.
Combat refitting with the help of other ships will still be possible as it is possible right now, but assuming that you will be playing with stats of ships specifically designed to not outright outmatch other ships, it will be no different than combat refitting any other cruiser in the game.

With all that in mind, I think that there should be enough factors in place to limit T3 usage and further SP cost is simply not needed.
Barrogh Habalu
Imperial Shipment
Amarr Empire
#3 - 2015-07-20 10:46:39 UTC
FireFrenzy
Cynosural Samurai
#4 - 2015-07-20 11:06:58 UTC
well this is not new (atleast the subsystem hold thing isnt) and while the "built in mobile depot" is i dont know if that constitues "an idea" or if its merely an extention of the previous...

Dont get me wrong i kinda like it, its got some potential abuse but nothing we cant tweak with numbers...

Which leads us to the meat of your post "rebalancing subsystems" which everyone knows needs to happen but you fail to suggest a direction you'd like to see it taken. "More buffer?" "only active tank boosts" what?

I would like the SP loss be removed and the modules rebalanced around that since i keep my subsystems at 4 to minimise any pain induced by it on all my toons that arent running boosting t3s...
Nevyn Auscent
Broke Sauce
#5 - 2015-07-20 11:10:43 UTC
How about we just get rid of subsystems. Subsystems are the major cause of the imbalance since they are not 5*5 possibilities but 5^5. Meaning there are so many combinations possible most will suck and a few will be OP. And balancing every single possible combination is basically impossible, since each combination is a ship of it's own to try and balance.
Instead give them 5-10 strategic modes.

As an example from another thread. The Neut HAM legion. Gets bonuses to neuts slightly smaller than a Curse. Gets brawling bonuses to Hams slightly less than a Sacrilige. Has similar tank to a HAC.
Now click mode change, wait 30 seconds for it to reconfigure (I.E. it happens at end of cycle rather than tactical destroyers cooldown, as the instant change has been shown to have unbalancing effects)
And you have now reconfigured into a kiting HAM config. Your neuts are now unbonused but still fitted, but you now have some range and speed bonuses instead.

Obviously it would be hard to fit to take advantage of all possible modes at once, but this sort of approach would let you be flexible and adaptable without the need for massive refitting and weird refit bypasses needing coding. And would give T3C's a place in the meta without invalidating T2's like they currently do, and make them a lot easier to balance and do skins for.
Barrogh Habalu
Imperial Shipment
Amarr Empire
#6 - 2015-07-20 11:35:59 UTC  |  Edited by: Barrogh Habalu
FireFrenzy wrote:
well this is not new (atleast the subsystem hold thing isnt) and while the "built in mobile depot" is i dont know if that constitues "an idea" or if its merely an extention of the previous...

This is pretty much an attempt to focus on their already existing unique feature, making it more practical to use T3Cs for their flexibility (through these bays, removing the need to rely on depot and whatnot) while making it basically pointless to fly them with rigid fit (by addressing subsystems stats).

FireFrenzy wrote:
Which leads us to the meat of your post "rebalancing subsystems" which everyone knows needs to happen but you fail to suggest a direction you'd like to see it taken. "More buffer?" "only active tank boosts" what?

That's the main point. Without addressing numbers, this suggestion is nothing but another take on existing mechanics, but it's fairly hard for me to estimate what those numbers must be.

We definitely don't need any more buffer for them. We probably don't need so much fitting space that you can combine powerful tank mods, all the gank you reasonably need - and bonuses for both combined with some additional powers such as bonused EWAR, cov ops etc.
But that said, I do think that addressing buffer and fitting subs would be a good start and give us a good idea on how to further compare T3C and HAC, recon etc.

Nevyn Auscent wrote:
How about we just get rid of subsystems. Subsystems are the major cause of the imbalance since they are not 5*5 possibilities but 5^5. Meaning there are so many combinations possible most will suck and a few will be OP. And balancing every single possible combination is basically impossible, since each combination is a ship of it's own to try and balance.
Instead give them 5-10 strategic modes.

As an example from another thread. The Neut HAM legion. Gets bonuses to neuts slightly smaller than a Curse. Gets brawling bonuses to Hams slightly less than a Sacrilige. Has similar tank to a HAC.
Now click mode change, wait 30 seconds for it to reconfigure (I.E. it happens at end of cycle rather than tactical destroyers cooldown, as the instant change has been shown to have unbalancing effects)
And you have now reconfigured into a kiting HAM config. Your neuts are now unbonused but still fitted, but you now have some range and speed bonuses instead.

Obviously it would be hard to fit to take advantage of all possible modes at once, but this sort of approach would let you be flexible and adaptable without the need for massive refitting and weird refit bypasses needing coding. And would give T3C's a place in the meta without invalidating T2's like they currently do, and make them a lot easier to balance and do skins for.

I believe that amount of options is not really the problem (actually, I decided to stick with existing solution specifically to still allow variety of ways they are used), the problem really is that we have ships with a lot of bonuses that are as powerful (sometimes even more powerful) than other ships have, but combined all in one, on a hull that can have plenty of fittings for all the mods you can think of.
Number of bonused buffer mods, T2 resists, bonuses to projection, damage, utility, often all in one - that's the problem, they are all there at once as opposed to "potentially may be, but with a tradeoff".

As for why I decided to keep existing mechanics of subsystems and refitting, the reason is quite simple. While harder to balance, we already know it and it's possible to handle it with tweaks to numbers instead of re-inventing T3Cs from scratch. Another major reason is to leave T3 industry intact.
Third one was already mentioned: giving more options to players isn't a bad thing and I believe that allowing them to balance expenses and utility (by taking additional subs or leaving them at home) is something existing system can already do quite well.
Tabyll Altol
Viziam
Amarr Empire
#7 - 2015-07-20 14:33:00 UTC
Barrogh Habalu wrote:
Proposal:

Build T3 cruiser around their ability to “transform” by implementing following features and changes:

1. Introduce “Strategic reconfiguration bays”

All T3 cruisers gain specialized cargoholds that can only hold subsystems for this specific hull. For example, Legion will only be able to carry Amarr subsystems in its specialized bay, Tengu - only Caldari ones etc.
In my opinion it should be able to hold at least 3-5 subsystems. The idea is to comfortably support more than 2 configurations that may share a few subsystems, although if anything, there will still be your normal cargohold to use, of course.
Please make your suggestions on size of this bay and explain why.

2. Allow T3 ships to enter special reconfiguration mode.

Now that activating modules isn’t the only way to dynamically affect ship properties and hulls can have active features as well, I suggest that T3 cruiser should be able to enter special mode allowing it to use its special features without absolutely having to use third-party hardware (such as mobile depot). That said, refitting at depots may offer certain tradeoffs and still be used when needed. Options are good to have.

Entering reconfiguration mode has following effects:
- Ship cannot move, warp, use jump bridges or activate any modules while in it.
- Reconfiguration mode has “spool up” period of 30 seconds, during which ship cannot switch back to normal mode or use its benefits, but aforementioned penalties are applied immediately.
- After spool up period is completed, pilot gains access to full refitting abilities, including changing subsystems, modules, instantly swapping charges and onlining/offlining any modules without normal restrictions associated with doing that while in space.
- Ship is immediately fully operational upon switching to normal mode.
- Unable to enter reconfiguration mode while under gate cloak (or normal one for that matter) and during warp. Just had to clarify this because of how hull modes currently work for T3Ds.

Please share your input if you have any problems with spool up duration or other properties of modes, including potential issues with using this mode to speed up reload times of ancillary reps and rapid launchers (although to be honest, I believe this shouldn’t be a problem because of other drawbacks associated with using reconfiguration mode).

3. Rebalance subsystems.

In order for T3 cruisers to gain their niche instead of forcing T2 ships out of theirs, I suggest a rebalance of subsystem stats to ensure that T3Cs cannot significantly outperform specialized ships in any configuration even for extra price they will cost. This should mean that, generally speaking, if you don’t intend to use T3C for its ability to “transform”, then you will be better off using T2 ships in most cases.
Meanwhile I would like to see “hybrid” builds that combine different bonuses for utility with other abilities (like damage dealing or travel benefits) rather than min-maxing straight combat potential to remain somewhat viable outside of application of their reconfiguration abilities.

For example, if you want to have neuting HAM boat, then you you’ll naturally want to use Legion, but you should consider that you won’t be getting combat performance of Sacrilege and your neuting will be nothing like Curse. At the same time, if you want laser boat, or cloaky neut boat, then your choices should be, respectively, Zealot or Pilgrim, unless you know you will want to reconfigure your ship at some point.

4. Tweak subsystems cost (probably).

Material cost of subsystems should probably be reduced and drop rates of “blueprints” (relics for reverse engineering) should be slightly improved to accommodate for the fact that from now on flying with many additional subsystems in your hold is the norm and not a luxury. Single purpose T3Cs with no additional subsystems should still cost more than T2 cruisers to further discourage using T3s of T2s whenever T2 ships can adequately accomplish task at hand.

5. Remove SP penalty upon ship loss.

Presented changes are intended to ensure that T3 cruisers are not some kind of “power up” at a price. When used in some creative ways to make specialized ship that doesn’t step on other ships’ toes, they should not generally be more powerful than the latter and thus should not warrant additional cost (SP) to use. I also believe that proposed changes are already enough to take care of incentives to use T3 ships in existing T2-filled niches.

Finally, if you are using T3C as intended by this proposal, you are already paying extra for additional subsystems and modules that simply don’t affect your ship at a particular moment of time. Downsides of switching modes or difficulties associated with using depot during PvP encounter are there to limit ability of those spare fitting to affect an outcome of a single encounter. This means that you already pay extra price for versatility alone, but versatility you can’t practically turn into min-max advantage as long as you’re held in check.
Combat refitting with the help of other ships will still be possible as it is possible right now, but assuming that you will be playing with stats of ships specifically designed to not outright outmatch other ships, it will be no different than combat refitting any other cruiser in the game.

With all that in mind, I think that there should be enough factors in place to limit T3 usage and further SP cost is simply not needed.


1-3 Would be okay with that

4-5 No, T3 are very useful and strong (if played right). You can switch your abilitys very fast, this should cost something. An the SP loss should also stay.

+3/ -2 --> +1
Barrogh Habalu
Imperial Shipment
Amarr Empire
#8 - 2015-07-20 17:08:24 UTC
Tabyll Altol wrote:
You can switch your abilitys very fast, this should cost something.

Particular numbers concerning cost aside, I would like to know in what scenarios reconfiguration will be fast enough to become a problem? Some examples would be nice to have in perspective.
For context, I wanted to come up with the scheme that will make combat refitting rather impractical unless your opponents are fully contained.

As for ISK price, I kinda expected that "custom hulls" that cost about twice against T2 ships (which is where I expect them to be power-wise, on average), plus another one on top of that if you are carrying spare fittings would still be considered as, as you have said, costing something for utility they provide, don't you think? Here I assume that subs are a bit cheaper than they currently are.
Rawketsled
Generic Corp Name
#9 - 2015-07-21 06:23:46 UTC
I think the excessive min/max focus from T3s comes from the fact that you can circumvent typical fitting limitations.

There's probably multiple ways of fixing that, but I'd change subsystems so that they bonus stat-modifying modules, and not hull properties or directly modify module stats.

I'm looking at you, powercore multipliers and buffer subsystems.

Example: armour buffer and power grid. 1600mm Plates use large portions of your powergrid. Both armour and power upgrades compete for limited low-slots. That's how they're balanced. There's a subsystem that acts like an extra plate. If you want to use actual plates, you can whack on the Powergrid Multiplier instead of a pair of Reactor Controls.

Subsystems act like extra modules, ones that don't have any CPU cost or penalty. Compare this to rigs which are 1) permanent, 2) smaller in bonus, and 3) usually accompanied by a drawback.
Barrogh Habalu
Imperial Shipment
Amarr Empire
#10 - 2015-07-21 06:32:18 UTC
Rawketsled wrote:
I think the excessive min/max focus from T3s comes from the fact that you can circumvent typical fitting limitations.

There's probably multiple ways of fixing that, but I'd change subsystems so that they bonus stat-modifying modules, and not hull properties or directly modify module stats.

I'm looking at you, powercore multipliers and buffer subsystems.

Example: armour buffer and power grid. 1600mm Plates use large portions of your powergrid. Both armour and power upgrades compete for limited low-slots. That's how they're balanced. There's a subsystem that acts like an extra plate. If you want to use actual plates, you can whack on the Powergrid Multiplier instead of a pair of Reactor Controls.

Subsystems act like extra modules, ones that don't have any CPU cost or penalty. Compare this to rigs which are 1) permanent, 2) smaller in bonus, and 3) usually accompanied by a drawback.

I half-disagree.
I feel the problem with ships' durability is that fitting subs indeed provide considerable amounts of fitting space, but when it comes to buffer subs, they actually multiply effect of buffer mods. In case of armor T3Cs, plate basically doubles base HP, making the bonus that much more pronounced. Together those two subs allow fitting of considerable tank, then bonusing it.
Buffer sub on hull without +HP mods installed trouble precisely noone.
Rawketsled
Generic Corp Name
#11 - 2015-07-21 06:56:41 UTC
Barrogh Habalu wrote:
I half-disagree.
I feel the problem with ships' durability is that fitting subs indeed provide considerable amounts of fitting space, but when it comes to buffer subs, they actually multiply effect of buffer mods. In case of armor T3Cs, plate basically doubles base HP, making the bonus that much more pronounced. Together those two subs allow fitting of considerable tank, then bonusing it.
Buffer sub on hull without +HP mods installed trouble precisely noone.

Well fool on me. I only just discovered that subsystem bonuses apply after everything else. I had assumed it was before.

In any case; buffer subsystems always benefit the ship. As do the fitting subsystems. Something like the Fuel Catalyst only has a benefit if you fit and use an afterburner.

PCM should make Reactor Controls better, so that people use a lowslot to fit them.
Barrogh Habalu
Imperial Shipment
Amarr Empire
#12 - 2015-07-21 07:03:48 UTC
Rawketsled wrote:
In any case; buffer subsystems always benefit the ship. As do the fitting subsystems. Something like the Fuel Catalyst only has a benefit if you fit and use an afterburner.

By the same token amounts of PWG, CPU, hitpoints etc. always benefit any ship that has them (all of them do) without using slots for RCUs, Co-processors, plates/extenders/bulkheads and what have you. Can as well just tweak numbers (of additional fitting space and slots, if needed). I give it that bonus to fitting modules leaves player with a choice on quality/price of said module he's going to use though.
PecX Ocedei
Brohemia
Holy Broman Empire
#13 - 2015-10-13 12:30:37 UTC


I know that this is an old thread, but I love this idea. The first time I climbed into a T3 I was expecting something...different. 1-2 are ideas that I think would greatly help make T3C fullfill their original purpose. 3, I am not really sure about. Personally I think their stats are fine as they are. Are they powerful? Yes. Are they way more expensive than similar ships? 4. disagree. 5. Agreed, it makes no sense that T3C requires SP when they die.
Lloyd Roses
Artificial Memories
#14 - 2015-10-13 13:00:49 UTC
PecX Ocedei wrote:


I know that this is an old thread, but I love this idea. The first time I climbed into a T3 I was expecting something...different. 1-2 are ideas that I think would greatly help make T3C fullfill their original purpose. 3, I am not really sure about. Personally I think their stats are fine as they are. Are they powerful? Yes. Are they way more expensive than similar ships? 4. disagree. 5. Agreed, it makes no sense that T3C requires SP when they die.


T3Cs are currently in a better spot than ever given many options that behave similar. You can try the math, but a rigless AHAC fitted legion falls directly between a Zealot and an Absolution, having worse dps than both, projection like a zealot, slightly worse sigtank than a HAC with the option for AB though, and ehp above a zealot, yet far below an Absolution.

Now you add three T2 trimark and balance goes down the river.

So in an engagement that favors large ehp-pools, you get all of a zealot's advantages with absolution-level of buffer at the expense of a tiny bit of dps.

Already, the responsible dev team has forced fitting options on CS between 5 guns, 2 links or 4 guns, 3 links. From the same perspective, incorporating a T3C's stats and slots into the basehull, making a choice of subs a choice of bonuses instead of even your layout depending on them, would go a long way to create more consistent ships whose numbers would be easier to tweak, and with a 5 highslot limitation (for example) you'd have to settle with trade-offs between 5 guns, 4guns+large RR, 5guns+cloak or 3guns+cloak/probes. Suddenly it's not about tweaking countless numbers, but instead succeding in the creation of a set of bonuses that get people to fit and fly a T3C in different setups and embrace those trade offs for critical gains elsewhere.

For example: A loki would start with a 5/5/5 layout, and only the tanking sub would add an additional mid or low depending on armor- or shieldsub.
Leto Aramaus
Black Fox Marauders
Pen Is Out
#15 - 2015-10-13 13:02:19 UTC
+1

second post pretty much details exactly how I would see T3s being balanced.

Worse than T2 at the specific job of dealing damage or being tanky... but able to do multiple jobs like be 75% as tanky as the HAC counterpart, and have a web/scram/e-war with 60-75% the range/power of the recon counterpart. Something like that.
Harvey James
The Sengoku Legacy
#16 - 2015-10-13 15:20:01 UTC
a faster mobile depot inbuilt too allow sub switching on the fly quicker than a depot might be okay, so long as prices of subs are made very small say 1-2mil otherwise this idea changes nothing, and that's not too mention the heavy tank/fitting nerfs required too balance T3's.

T3's need to be versatile so no rigs are necessary ... they should not have OP dps and tank

ABC's should be T2, remove drone assist, separate HAM's and Torps range, -3 HS for droneboats

Nerf web strength, Make the blaster Eagle worth using