A Cure For Cancer: Potential T3D Changes ComingSuitonia
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.
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.