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Assault Frigate Role Ideas

First post
Author
Suitonia
V0LTA
WE FORM V0LTA
#1 - 2017-04-26 09:50:04 UTC
So we all know that Assault Frigates see very little use on Tranquility (outside burner missions of course). Gone are the days where Harpy fleets were the go-to junior FC and skirmish doctrine. Tactical Destroyers have taken over the previous role that Assault Frigates had. Fast Response, Low SP, Sub 50 million hulls for skirmish doctrines. Tactical Destroyers are not that much more expensive, while being easier to train into and having a lot more power for their cost. They’re also low mass and can go through the same small sized wormholes, and most are actually faster and more agile than Assault Frigates.
I don’t think the ideal solution here is to give Assault Frigates more power through increasing their primary stats (EHP, DPS, Fittings etc.). People are soon to forget that Harpy Fleets were the nullsec staple junior doctrine before Svipuls and RLML Caracals were added to the game. We’ve seen a lot of power creep recently and I feel like Assault Frigates are actually in a good place in regards to their power level. They could use speeding up a little, but what they’re really lacking is a role that differentiates themselves from Tactical Destroyers or another skirmish cruiser doctrine.

All Assault Frigates have a utility high so I think it would be interesting to build up a role involving that. Command Destroyers have already taken up the mantle of providing links for a fast mobile hull. I really like the idea of turning Assault Frigates into mobile Anti-Fighter ships. We’ve seen insane capital proliferation recently and there really isn’t a sub-capital counter to Carrier groups right now, I’m really worried that there will be no role or place for subcapital doctrines in the future, especially as CCP is tinkering with T3Cs which will mostly likely see a drop in power for them. The only real counter to Carrier groups right now are other Carriers or Dread Bombs.

Some players are quick to point out that ECM is effective against stand alone carriers, but they’ve never really been in a big fight where dealing with 50+ Carriers means 150 Templar IIs on your overview, all of which have the exact same name ‘Templar II’ and move too fast to sort by range, making it next to impossible to coordinate ewar. Most ECM cruisers or frigates get 1-2 cycled by a single Carriers worth of fighters anyway so you lose them insanely fast in a real fight. The idea here would be, make Assault Frigates relevant at disrupting fighters, this in turn makes other anti-support sub-capitals relevant to kill Assault Frigates. Outside of ECM there aren’t many effective options for skirmish gangs to bring against Carriers.

Assault Frigates have great resistances, while also retaining small sig from being a frigate. This makes killing them with fighters incredibly wasteful especially when the AFs have logistics. But anti-support cruiser options tend to deal with them effectively.
Ideas;

Flak Cannon - Just a stand-alone, one module limit highslot weapon that would deal around 600~ DPS to fighters. (For Reference, a 3x DDA Nidhoggur/Thanatos does 1.8k~ DPS with 3x FSU Is and 3x DDA IIs.) So this would be the equivalent of around 1 reasonable Air Superiority fighter. Obviously make it unusable against actual ships. This would probably be the most vanilla and easiest variation to understand. Although 10mn AB AFs or overtanked pure flak AFs could become a little too good with them.

Flak Mode (terrible name) - A siege mode for AFs, that would increase DPS by 5-6x but prevent them from doing damage to real ships, fighters only. A short 30s~ cycle that has no speed penalty or RR penalty, but would maybe have a MWD/AB thrust penalty (like HIC bubble). The penalties of the mode should be based around allowing them to mitigate damage from fighters still (no speed or sig penalties, but maybe make props less effective) to make sure they get damaged by cruisers. This would be a little more complicated but easier to design around specific builds since your own ships damage and range is important, so 10mn/overtanked etc isn’t broken.

I’m not sure what CCP can accomplish on the backend, but maybe giving AFs a huge reduction to fighter DPS but also boosting their signature radius at the same time so they get dumpstered by cruiser weapons could be an alternative.

Contributer to Eve is Easy:  https://www.youtube.com/user/eveiseasy/videos

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Merin Ryskin
Peregrine Industries
#2 - 2017-04-26 09:58:25 UTC
Or just nerf the hell out of T3Ds so they're in line with other destroyers. Once T3Ds are no longer better at everything AFs could probably be fixed with relatively modest changes.
Cade Windstalker
#3 - 2017-04-26 18:53:08 UTC
I don't really think this is a niche that needs filling.

There are already plenty of effective anti-fighter options so I don't see why any fleet would even spend pilot slots on a dedicated anti-fighter ship when they could just bring a Carrier and get far more out of it, or bring any other ship and probably have something more effective if they don't run into fighters and almost equally effective if they do. Heck a Kitsune is probably a more effective anti-fighter platform right now than these things would be, as are T3Ds, or just dump a ton of small drones out into the fight and set them on Aggressive.

On top of that this wouldn't be particularly fun to fly or fly against. You'd basically be turning AFs into an incredibly niche drone flyswatter that Carriers can't effectively counter at all, but a bit of webbing, a few TPs, and any sub-cap fleet can blap them off the map.

Oh and on top of that the prop-mod effectiveness reduction from your proposed "siege" mode would be directly counter productive to their existing bonus for MWD use.

Really not seeing this as a good, viable, or desirable role for AFs.
Vic Jefferson
ElitistOps
Snuffed Out
#4 - 2017-04-26 19:14:14 UTC
So, when/if CCP finally addresses capital proliferation, AFs will once again have no niche?

I think you are trying to force AFs to be the relieve a symptom of another problem, when in fact they should be useful in their own right.

Hictors, for example, went from being dedicated captial tacklers to being useful in many settings, and this is widely regarded as a good thing. Why do you want to confine AFs into a niche that honestly shouldn't exist in the first place? I find it very strange that someone who reports to be a PvP enthusiast is of such limited imagination.

Vote Vic Jefferson for CSM X.....XI.....XII?

Serendipity Lost
Repo Industries
#5 - 2017-04-26 19:59:18 UTC
Vic Jefferson wrote:
So, when/if CCP finally addresses capital proliferation, AFs will once again have no niche?

I think you are trying to force AFs to be the relieve a symptom of another problem, when in fact they should be useful in their own right.

Hictors, for example, went from being dedicated captial tacklers to being useful in many settings, and this is widely regarded as a good thing. Why do you want to confine AFs into a niche that honestly shouldn't exist in the first place? I find it very strange that someone who reports to be a PvP enthusiast is of such limited imagination.




Reading your sig - I wouldn't vote for a smug punk for CSM. If this is how you handle player ideas - I truly hope you get on the CSM ballot and set a never to be broken record for the least votes acquired.

CSM folks should have an open mind AND not immediately degrade to personal attacks. I'd like you to settle a wager me and the guys have.

Are you:

1. insecure
2. 5
3. Just dumb

??

OP - Thanks for working to better the game as you have for over a decade. I love AF and totally dislike the idea of making it useful in a fight I would never get involved in. I think the idea is somewhat sound and giving newbros a way to have some fun in larger fights does have merit. To see a swarm of newbros zipping around in a large carrier fight chewing up the fighters and gimping carriers that are hictored in place would be kind of funny.

"I'm out of fighters" "Me too" "Me too" I can see why a TEST CSM would come in hard and fast to keep that from happening.



Cranky Pants - grow up dude. Based on this reply I see you as just a corporate mouthpiece trying to get elected.
Vic Jefferson
ElitistOps
Snuffed Out
#6 - 2017-04-26 20:05:39 UTC  |  Edited by: Vic Jefferson
Serendipity Lost wrote:
CSM folks should have an open mind AND not immediately degrade to personal attacks. I'd like you to settle a wager me and the guys have.


:shrug:

The CSM candiate who got the most votes doesn't seem to mind insulting most of the player base, or find the behavior beneath the post. Suitonia was a goon when elected, and that seems par for the course for them.

Vote Vic Jefferson for CSM X.....XI.....XII?

Serendipity Lost
Repo Industries
#7 - 2017-04-26 20:33:20 UTC
Vic Jefferson wrote:
Serendipity Lost wrote:
CSM folks should have an open mind AND not immediately degrade to personal attacks. I'd like you to settle a wager me and the guys have.


:shrug:

The CSM candiate who got the most votes doesn't seem to mind insulting most of the player base, or find the behavior beneath the post. Suitonia was a goon when elected, and that seems par for the course for them.



Oh, so this is a personal jealousy thing. I get it now. Carry on - It makes you look swell!
Fek Mercer
Native Freshfood
Minmatar Republic
#8 - 2017-04-27 00:14:38 UTC  |  Edited by: Fek Mercer
I was extremely suprised to scroll back up and find none other than suitonia was the creator of this thread. As others have said, Forcing the AF into an extremely limited niche like this is probably not the answer, but thanks for trying. I do like the flak cannon as being a module, however. Could have some pretty cool effects too.
Frostys Virpio
KarmaFleet
Goonswarm Federation
#9 - 2017-04-27 01:00:48 UTC  |  Edited by: Frostys Virpio
Serendipity Lost wrote:

OP - Thanks for working to better the game as you have for over a decade. I love AF and totally dislike the idea of making it useful in a fight I would never get involved in. I think the idea is somewhat sound and giving newbros a way to have some fun in larger fights does have merit. To see a swarm of newbros zipping around in a large carrier fight chewing up the fighters and gimping carriers that are hictored in place would be kind of funny.

"I'm out of fighters" "Me too" "Me too" I can see why a TEST CSM would come in hard and fast to keep that from happening.



Except you can already murder fighters with ships that are easier to train into for newbees. What's the point of cramming a T2 ship line there?
Alderson Point
Federal Navy Academy
Gallente Federation
#10 - 2017-04-27 21:02:14 UTC
Suitonia wrote:
So we all know that Assault Frigates see very little use on Tranquility (outside burner missions of course). Gone are the days where Harpy fleets were the go-to junior FC and skirmish doctrine. Tactical Destroyers have taken over the previous role that Assault Frigates had. Fast Response, Low SP, Sub 50 million hulls for skirmish doctrines. Tactical Destroyers are not that much more expensive, while being easier to train into and having a lot more power for their cost. They’re also low mass and can go through the same small sized wormholes, and most are actually faster and more agile than Assault Frigates.
I don’t think the ideal solution here is to give Assault Frigates more power through increasing their primary stats (EHP, DPS, Fittings etc.). People are soon to forget that Harpy Fleets were the nullsec staple junior doctrine before Svipuls and RLML Caracals were added to the game. We’ve seen a lot of power creep recently and I feel like Assault Frigates are actually in a good place in regards to their power level. They could use speeding up a little, but what they’re really lacking is a role that differentiates themselves from Tactical Destroyers or another skirmish cruiser doctrine.

All Assault Frigates have a utility high so I think it would be interesting to build up a role involving that. Command Destroyers have already taken up the mantle of providing links for a fast mobile hull. I really like the idea of turning Assault Frigates into mobile Anti-Fighter ships. We’ve seen insane capital proliferation recently and there really isn’t a sub-capital counter to Carrier groups right now, I’m really worried that there will be no role or place for subcapital doctrines in the future, especially as CCP is tinkering with T3Cs which will mostly likely see a drop in power for them. The only real counter to Carrier groups right now are other Carriers or Dread Bombs.

Some players are quick to point out that ECM is effective against stand alone carriers, but they’ve never really been in a big fight where dealing with 50+ Carriers means 150 Templar IIs on your overview, all of which have the exact same name ‘Templar II’ and move too fast to sort by range, making it next to impossible to coordinate ewar. Most ECM cruisers or frigates get 1-2 cycled by a single Carriers worth of fighters anyway so you lose them insanely fast in a real fight. The idea here would be, make Assault Frigates relevant at disrupting fighters, this in turn makes other anti-support sub-capitals relevant to kill Assault Frigates. Outside of ECM there aren’t many effective options for skirmish gangs to bring against Carriers.

Assault Frigates have great resistances, while also retaining small sig from being a frigate. This makes killing them with fighters incredibly wasteful especially when the AFs have logistics. But anti-support cruiser options tend to deal with them effectively.
Ideas;

Flak Cannon - Just a stand-alone, one module limit highslot weapon that would deal around 600~ DPS to fighters. (For Reference, a 3x DDA Nidhoggur/Thanatos does 1.8k~ DPS with 3x FSU Is and 3x DDA IIs.) So this would be the equivalent of around 1 reasonable Air Superiority fighter. Obviously make it unusable against actual ships. This would probably be the most vanilla and easiest variation to understand. Although 10mn AB AFs or overtanked pure flak AFs could become a little too good with them.

Flak Mode (terrible name) - A siege mode for AFs, that would increase DPS by 5-6x but prevent them from doing damage to real ships, fighters only. A short 30s~ cycle that has no speed penalty or RR penalty, but would maybe have a MWD/AB thrust penalty (like HIC bubble). The penalties of the mode should be based around allowing them to mitigate damage from fighters still (no speed or sig penalties, but maybe make props less effective) to make sure they get damaged by cruisers. This would be a little more complicated but easier to design around specific builds since your own ships damage and range is important, so 10mn/overtanked etc isn’t broken.

I’m not sure what CCP can accomplish on the backend, but maybe giving AFs a huge reduction to fighter DPS but also boosting their signature radius at the same time so they get dumpstered by cruiser weapons could be an alternative.


Give them a fast cycling 50km micro-jump drive.
Old Pervert
Perkone
Caldari State
#11 - 2017-04-27 21:17:39 UTC
Alderson Point wrote:

Give them a fast cycling 50km micro-jump drive.



This would be very fun... but so horribly broken. Imagine 50-100 of these anchored up in sniper fits. The moment something gets close, the fleet jumps 50km and goes back to sniping almost immediately.

Blap, blap, blap, blap, jump, blap, blap, blap, blap

That said, 20km would be much more interesting, and enough to prevent sniper fits from simply moonwalking away from everything.

+0.5?
Rovinia
Exotic Dancers Union
SONS of BANE
#12 - 2017-04-27 22:39:10 UTC  |  Edited by: Rovinia
What about a Combi-Module for Assault frigs that combines MWD and Afterburner in one Module? Mode can be changed with Scripts. That would make all Assault Frigs automaticaly Dual-Prop Ships what can be very handy in the role as heavy Tackler. And perhaps give it some % of E-War / Neut resistances on top.
Rias Bane
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#13 - 2017-05-03 10:51:02 UTC
The introduction of the T3D was essentially the death of the AF, it truly saddens me to see that my enyo lies unused because comparatively speaking I can get in a hecate, marginally more expensive with more utility and considerably more dps and it is essentially the same theme through all races but I do love that little enyo.

Where I like the idea resurrecting the Assault Frigate I am less inclined towards the idea of a created niche; it essentially limits the other applications of the AF and I always felt their greatest attribute was the versatility of applications offered rather than a limited focus such as Bombers (I accept they don't just sling bombs but they are niche).

I would possibly look to alter the context of the Assault Frigate, possibly even go as far as to make it a trainable option for Alpha's, AF's are solid PvE boats and have a proven if outdated track record in PvP, and yes; I accept that opening the alpha door potentially discourages the Alpha's from upgrading but I believe it would work to encourage them, by having a more defined role in a fleet there is more involvement with a ship that offers better survivability in fleet fights meaning a greater sense of particpation on the part of the user, after all participation is how we get members hooked, not by encouraging them to attend in t1, meta 2 griffins vomiting out jams like todlers with gastric flu only to be insta popped by anything with a reasonable alpha strike, then encouraged to pod express home get another and rinse and repeat.

I also feel that they need a little love in slightly buffed fittings, the cpu and pg is often very tight compared to their comparative t1 variants but I doubt I'm the first to say that.

Enough rhetoric from me, +1 for trying to get the AF back on track.

Spugg Galdon
Last Rites.
Villore Accords
#14 - 2017-05-04 06:43:21 UTC
I know exactly how to make Assault Frigates popular. They don't need a balance pass or T3D's nerfing. If you look at them they are actually pretty good.

Problem is there is so much choice in this game and AF's are just not that exciting.

Yeah, we could make a "Special to Type" module for AF's and many other ships in the game and it might actually balance the ships out.

But a really simple way to make AF's actually popular is...........................


Allow Alpha clones to fly them.
Phaade
Proioxis Assault Force
Rogue Caldari Union
#15 - 2017-05-04 13:12:27 UTC
Alphas or not, I'd still never fly them unless I had some weird desire to lose an expensive frigate.

They need a buff, I think web resistance or a speed buff would be the right direction.
Caleb Seremshur
Naked Oiled Bodybuilders
Parasitic Legion.
#16 - 2017-05-04 17:40:01 UTC
Give them very marignal role bonuses to range speed and damage? Perhaps just 2% per level than they have now.

Also complete weapon rebalance coming very soon. Assault frigates would be dramatically improved by rebalancing to rep modules. Ships like hawk or vengeance have exactly one valid pvp build and its still not good.

perseus skye
Republic University
Minmatar Republic
#17 - 2017-05-04 22:35:41 UTC
Phaade wrote:
Alphas or not, I'd still never fly them unless I had some weird desire to lose an expensive frigate.

They need a buff, I think web resistance or a speed buff would be the right direction.


+1 web resistance
Caleb Seremshur
Naked Oiled Bodybuilders
Parasitic Legion.
#18 - 2017-05-05 00:32:24 UTC
I've been doing some rudimentary fitting work in pyfa the last couple of hours. There are centrally 3 issues with AF as I see them.

They are overpriced. At 20mil + per hull they just aren't good enough.
They need more fittings. Especially ships like the retribution and hawk, just needs more cpu and they would be a great ships (in addition to other changes)
They lack a clear delineation from other ships of the same size. I get that they're meant to be mini-HACs but frigates don't have enough scale in HP to make that really work.

I'd suggest looking at giving each race maybe an overheat bonus. This is a bonus that you currently only see on T3Cs and that ONE AT ship. At all V a 25% reduction in heat damage would allow you to suitably risk your ship in hairy engagements while not breaking their baseline performance. It also makes adjusting for stats easier because you'd be balancing for peak overheated performance over a hyper-specific timeframe and less about what-ifs.
General Ization
Graig Cyson
Apocalypse Now.
#19 - 2017-05-05 16:03:13 UTC
Assign Assault frigates the role of heavy tackle by adding bonuses akin to the tackle interceptors.

Assault frigate skill bonus

• 5% bonus to warp scrambler and warp disruptor optimal range

Role Bonus

• 80% reduction in propulsion jamming systems activation cost

Improving their ability to apply and maintain tackle.

A reduction in activation cost for webifiers and/or boosting sensor strength/hardening against ewar could be considered.

Maybe a partial immunity to grapplers and/or a boost to warp scramble strength of +1 might also work in some combination.

Tweak the mass and base speed a touch lighter/faster and adjust the base build cost to 15-18m isk range.
Scialt
Universal Sanitation Corporation
#20 - 2017-05-05 16:35:24 UTC
How about just reducing the materials needed to make them.

If a wolf cost 9m instead of 25m now (or 33m for a Svipul)... it might get more use by just being a cheaper option for a similar role as a T3D. Right now the price doesn't match the utility.
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