A Cure For Cancer: Potential T3D Changes Coming


Greetings friends, I am Suitonia, a member of the tactical destroyer focus group. CCP Fozzie recently announced a draft of the changes he is investigating for T3Ds and I’m going to break down the changes that are likely* to be coming to T3Ds in the November expansion.
*Please note, these changes aren’t finalized yet, crystal ball, blah blah blah.

[18:08] <ccp_fozzie> don’t have a full set of numbers for release yet
[18:08] <ccp_fozzie> but currently investigating changes that include:
[18:08] <ccp_fozzie> moving some dps to the sharpshooter mode (probably +33% on sharpshooter with the other bonuses lowered to compensate)
[18:09] <ccp_fozzie> swapping the sharpshooter scan res bonus out for a Damp/TD resist bonus
[18:10] <ccp_fozzie> Swapping at least the Svipul’s (and probably Confessor as well) propulsion mode speed bonus for a bonus to the speed increase from both ABs and MWDs
[18:11] <ccp_fozzie> decreasing the PWG on the svipul a tad alongside a small decrease in small arty pwg
[18:11] <ccp_fozzie> and some fairly small tweaks to base sig radius and speed values across the set
[18:12] <ccp_fozzie> combined I think that set of changes can take care of most of the concerns raised by this group so far
[18:12] <ccp_fozzie> am interested in hearing what you folks think of course


Let’s start with the first option, moving DPS to Sharpshooter mode.

This is most likely going to be at the cost of the role bonus on the ship. In the T3D focus group we were very fond of halving the current role bonus of 50% damage to 25%, and then putting that missing damage as a 20% damage boost on Sharpshooter. CCP Fozzie seems to like this idea, and is actually going a bit stronger with it, at 33%, presumably to keep the 3’s theme with T3Ds. If this was introduced as a 33% rate of fire bonus, it could replace the 50% role damage bonus completely, as 33% rate of fire is equivalent to 50% flat damage. The Hecate/Confessor could also be compensated with a 33% weapons capacitor reduction on the sharpshooter mode too.

create more interesting decision-making for brawling T3Ds

The purpose of this change is to create more interesting decision-making for brawling T3Ds, currently all brawling T3Ds are almost always in Defensive mode, unless roaming/trying to escape. The Svipul in particular is a huge offender of this, with the popular double MSE fit essentially being in Speed mode only until it gets scram on something, and then remaining in Defensive mode for the entirety of the engagement. You will now have to choose between 33% more damage output or 33% more resists, is it more beneficial to kill this guy faster than tanking more? What if it’s a 3 v 1; is it better for me to remove them faster to lower potential DPS, Or stay in defensive mode? Do they have a glass cannon DPS like a Daredevil? There is so much more decision making and gameplay here.

Additionally, this is a soft nerf for brawling stat blob T3Ds like the dual-MSE Svipul. You now won’t have quite the same DPS/EHP ratios as they will be locked away in different mode choices, but the potential of the ship itself hasn’t been decreased.

For kiting T3Ds like the arty Svipul, Jackdaw, rail Hecate, and beam Confessor, you will lose DPS by being in speed mode and not in sharpshooter mode. RR and fleet doctrine fits will also see a similar power loss when pilots do not use the mode swapping effectively. If RR roctrines just stay in defensive mode the entire time to guarantee they get reps and to improve buffer, they lose out on a 33% DPS increase, which is a huge amount of wasted potential. Likewise, fighting against RR T3Ds and doctrine T3Ds will now be much more fun for the opposing side because they can swap targets and try to headshot players in Sharpshooter mode.

T3Ds will now be much more fun for the opposing side

The best pilots will always try and maximise the amount of time they can spend in Sharpshooter mode, so this effectively raises the skill cap of T3Ds and provides more counterplay for the opposing side. Overall, this is a great change that will nerf a lot of the power imbalances of T3Ds (with their EHP/DPS ratios stepping on cruisers too much) but keeping the same potential of the ship mostly in place.

EVE Online Confessor

Swapping the scan resolution boost for damp resistance and adding weapon disruptor resistance.

Fast locking T3Ds are a big problem for players wanting to roam out in lowsec and especially nullsec with frigates. A Svipul with a single sensor booster is a faster locker than a Stiletto with a signal amplifier fitted, and without a sensor booster locks faster than the fastest Tech I combat frigate, the Rifter. This has hurt the nullsec roaming meta substantially, and has killed a lot of active-tanked frigate PvP in null. A single Svipul even without a sensor booster forces you to burn away on every jump in, repair your armor, reload your ancillary, giving the Svipul enough time to get ahead of you on the next gate to have to do it all again. In a T1 frigate you can even be insta-popped in ships like the Atron. Needless to say, this is awful gameplay. Especially as the Svipul can achieve this with relatively little sacrifice.

The idea here is to make the sensor benefits of Sharpshooter more finely tuned to “anti-EWAR”, and eliminate some of the oppressive gameplay (mostly from the Svipul) with high scan resolutions in Sharpshooter on T3Ds.

This will mean camping Svipuls will have to sacrifice a mid for an extra sensor booster to get close to the same performance as now, which will make them more vulnerable, and they won’t be able to casually lock every frigate in the game just by being in Sharpshooter. The addition of damp and weapon disruptor resistance are interesting and will benefit a lot of sniper/kite T3Ds like the Confessor.

Swapping Svipul and Confessor Speed modes to MWD/AB speed.

This is a really good change because right now, the Svipul and Confessor have such high base speeds that they become a huge problem for cruisers to track and deal with, and are difficult for frigates to control or escape from.

an elegant solution which keeps their speeds the same as now

Both the Svipul and Confessor are faster in Speed mode with no modules fitted than every combat frigate in the game. The huge power of speed mode also obsoletes Sharpshooter mode in the case of the Svipul because the extra base speed you get in speed mode is actually more powerful than the extra tracking on Sharpshooter mode when attempting to minimise angular velocity. I’ve written a long article on the speed modes of T3Ds which you can check out here.

The main advantage of swapping to MWD speed only is that cruisers will have a much easier time applying to both the Svipul and Confessor when they are caught with warp scramblers, and those T3Ds will also have a harder time escaping. Sniper fits like arty Svipuls and beam Confessors will also have a harder time applying damage to frigates that manage to get on top of them because they’ll be able to mitigate less angular velocity, and they won’t be as fast when scrammed so frigates have a much better chance of attempting to run from them in scram kiting situations. In the case of afterburners, if the AB gets neuted off, the ship will be much more vulnerable than currently.

Overall, an elegant solution which keeps their speeds the same as now (relatively) but makes tackled Svipuls and Confessors much more vulnerable.


Decreasing the Svipuls power grid and reducing the PG of small artillery weapons.

The gulf between artillery and ACs on the frigate level is absolutely huge, with a 280mm artillery (13 PG) using more than 3x the grid of a 200mm Autocannon (4 PG). This change has been long overdue since both medium and large projectiles have had the gap tightened in recent balance passes. What has this got to do with T3Ds? Well, the Svipul currently has an absurd amount of fitting space with ACs, which gives it MWD, highest tier guns, dual neuts and dual extenders for one low slot fitting mod. CCP can’t nerf the grid on the Svipul though to fix this or they make artillery fits unviable. By reducing the PG of artillery, they can also lower the PG of the Svipul and thus nerf the common dual MSE dual neut Svipul fit.

This change will also make a lot of other ships that have low PG viable artillery platforms, like the Jaguar, Sabre, and Slasher.

Sig Radius/Base Speed tweaks.

The low signature radius’ on both the Svipul and Confessor (at 50m and 60m respectively) when compared to the Hecate and Jackdaw (70m) is a little too good right now and the focus group agreed that bumping those up somewhat would help out a lot. The base speed tweaks could help out a lot for the Svipul/Confessor too, we could see a mass reduction but also with a base speed reduction which would have a similar effect to what was described in the propulsion mode change for the Svipul/Confessor.

I’m really excited to see what these changes bring for tactical destroyers in november. Hopefully they’ll help round out the class and stop them oppressing other smaller ship choices.

Tags: balance, focus group, Suitonia, T3D, Tactical Destroyers

About the author


Suitonia is a veteran PvP pilot, PvPing for almost a decade solo or in small gangs, taking part in multiple alliance tournaments on the HYDRA RELOADED team (RIP), and a commentator/analyst for #EVE-NT Collides.

  • Muon

    I like most of these ideas, but the thing that worries me is that while the Svipul and Confessor definitely need nerfing, I’m afraid that the (not *nearly* so overpowered) Hecate and Jackdaw are going to be collateral damage. Mostly I’m thinking of the damage role bonus change, nerfing the already lower damage Jackdaw and weakening the facemelting blaster DPS that redeems the Hecate’s other drawbacks. Svipuls and Confessors *do* do too much damage all the time. Jackdaws and Hecates don’t.

  • Calduron Vorn

    I welcome this buff to Blackbirds and Griffins.

  • Proxay

    Rather than changing 10 or 20 factors in this review, why not make a few small adjustments – monitor, then look at further changes as needed. Changing the bonuses associated to modes would be a big enough change to T3Ds to completely alter their dynamic.
    Changing powergrid, signature, et al on top of this is just going to completely re-define how these ships are used in game, rather than the stated focus which was “balance them”. If balance is the aim, make smaller considered changes over time, not sweeping revisions on the concept top to bottom.

    • May mkoll

      In a perfect world yes but the window for a small balance update is long overdue and we all know ccp won’t look at it again for another year or some unless something super egregious happens. If they were gonna do small massaging balance patches they needed to start a few months after the ships release and every few months after. We got what one t3d balance pass like 5-6 mo after their release. And now this over a year later.

    • Dan

      This. You don’t, or at least shouldn’t, go for a nerf 10 traits at once. You give them less DPS. Fine. Then you give them less PWG also -> that gives either less DPS or less tank, you give them less speed? That means more incoming damage, i.e. effectively less tank, and less ability to catch things. You give them less scan res? That means less ability to catch things. You give them higher sig rad. That means more incoming damage. So not nerfing a ship into the ground by giving it a double or triple whammy would be the thing to do.

      At least for FW low sec and apart from gate camping Svipuls, I don’t
      think T3Ds are OP since they have been removed from small outposts.
      That’s my little anecdote there. But I don’t know whether it’s true, and
      I wouldn’t want to base any changes on it. That’s basically what a task group does. It combines anecdotes. With respect to the folks who committed their time to this, CCP shouldn’t need a task group. You have the data. Data > anecdotes. What did T3Ds kill in which setups (if they die) or fleet comp. Use the data, draw inference(s) about what needs nerfing. Make changes accordingly. CCP has Quant for that, or if he is too busy, get a second data scientist. Then changes are at least based on fact and not anecdotes. It would also allow implementing a change much faster than task group that lasted what, 10 months?

  • Hans

    Giving the T3Ds an immunity to TDs (even if it’s only in one ‘mode’) effectively takes away one of the only ways that they could be solo’ed by properly fitted AFs. That, to my mind, is a mistake. There should always be some way (other than ECM) for a smaller hull to outsmart and out-fly a larger hull. Please reconsider this. Give the e-bushido guys something to work with. (I’d be ok with T3Ds having ECM resists though.)

    • +1 do resist to ECM instead of dampeners and weapon disruptions

      • Willy

        They don’t need ECM resists. They can fit a Sensor Booster with an ECCM script like everyone else.

        • They dont need resists to dampeners and weapon disruption either…

    • Nayl mkoll

      Unless I can’t read it’s a tracking disruptor and sensor damp resistance not immunity

  • bob@wormholes.com

    An other deathblow to wormhole pve’ers soon there will be none left that we can hunt…

    • WillG

      It’s true. We wormholers shouldn’t have to think while we fight 🙂

  • JZ909

    First, I like most of the changes, however, I think the EWAR resistance is a bad idea.

    EWAR in general is in a really bad place right now. Frankly, it’s just not worth it to lose DPS to fly a damp, ECM or TD ship in anything but the smallest fights. You’ll either barely be tanked and die instantly, or have too few modules/too unbonused EWAR to make a difference. Without some significant boosts to these modules/ships, I really don’t like the idea of high DPS anti-EWAR destroyer.

  • Aramis Rosicrux

    Hecates suck already. I own one because its pretty, but I don’t try serious combat with it, it might we be named “clay pigeon”.
    Confessors are a good ship, but not overpowered at all. Svipuls on the other hand, are just too good. Still, all these changes, at once? Perhaps a more modest change and see what happens?

    But please, buff the Hecate and the Jackdaw. Leave the Confessor alone. Nerf the damage or speed or sensor strength on the Svipul.