epdominavyissuecaught

Adjusting Battlecruisers and Battleships

 
Crossing Zebras welcomes Gorski Car (CSM 9) who visits us to talk about the current state of battlecruisers, battleships and the issues they currently face. This theorycrafting piece is written from the small gang perspective. – Niden

Battlecruisers

These ships are currently almost never flown in smaller gangs. Brawling battlecruisers are still seen as solo ships but even in that field they are very rare. In general they feel less effective than cruisers because the PvP-metagame is currently focused on fast stuff and battlecruisers will often be kited to death with ease. Their slow warp speed of 2.5 au/s is not helping them either. The attack battlecruisers are in a bit of a better spot at the moment but combat BCs are nowhere as good as they would need to be in order to be a relevant ship class. It also feels like certain battlecruisers had to pay for their sins and were more or less removed from the game… looking at you Drake and Hurricane. Anyway, kind of like AFs, this entire ship class is not really used anymore because there just simply are better choices. I think they need a heavy rework. I have seen a lot of ideas pushed around, from giving them a destroyer-like role bonus (think along the lines of a 50% tracking bonus) to making their MWD scriptable into an MJD. Personally I would like another bonus like the destroyers and perhaps it’s time to scrap that stupid link bonus that’s almost never used. Another thing I have pushed hard for on the CSM is to normalize the warp speeds. Here is a table over t1 ship warp speeds at the moment: ss+(2015-02-27+at+11.38.24) Giving the BCs a small bonus of 0.2 au/s would make the percentage the warp speed decreases more consistent across ship classes. While many people may think the extra 0.2 au/s warp speed is insignificant because it doesn’t give them more EFT DPS, I would disagree. Sometimes a minor change like that can make all the difference. I don’t even know how many times a single second was the difference between me dying and living in a ship. In summary, there is a big problem at the moment with battlecruisers being outclassed as a combat platform by many cruiser hulls and not really being a factor in the PvP-metagame. Giving them a good role bonus, warp speed and some more speed on grid could change this.

Battleships

Unlike battlecruisers I actually like battleships a lot for small gangs. They are a large platform so they can bring a lot of utility like heavy neuts, smartbombs or micro jump drives. The large guns also have great projection compared to medium guns. It’s a curious fact that the battleships used for small gang PvP are generally faster than battlecruisers, a smaller ship class. They are strong enough to sacrifice a rig slot or two for hyperspatial velocity rigs to get a semi-competitive warp speed. With that said, the class is not without problems. I feel like there is a problem with lock speeds and sensor stats in general on the battleships. I don’t like the fact that sensor boosters are almost necessary in today’s age of super fast ships and links making Interceptors able to burn away 100km and tackle you before you can lock them.
ss+(2015-03-31+at+06.14.08)

Typhoon trying to lock a linked Crow

Let’s take a look at all the battleships grouped by tiericide role: Gorski BS table Lock-ranges under 100 km are highlighted because this is a very special and important stat. Having a lock-range over 100km allows Micro Jump Drives to be used offensively rather than just for defense. With a lock range over 100 km you can lock a target and use the MJD to jump on top of them without losing lock. There is also a problem here with battleships having lock-ranges way below their weapon ranges. I would really like to see all battleships’ lock-ranges brought up to at least 100km or even higher. Another important stat here is the scan resolution in combination with the sensor strength. Battleships are currently really easy to control with EWAR and are heavily penalized for warping in and out due to being so slow. Unlike cruisers, they are not able to burn out to 250km and back with ease. Additionally, being jammed is one of the biggest frustrations with a battleship since most of the time you won’t regain lock before the second ECM cycle hits. There is not much of an increase in sensor strength from a cruiser to a battleship. Gorski BS cruiser comp   To deal with those problems, Suitonia from Hydra Reloaded suggested the following changes to combat- attack- and EWAR battleships
  • Combat battleships and Scorpion get 20% more sensor strength and 10% more scan resolution
  • Attack battleships get 10% more sensor strength and 20% more scan resolution.
  • All of them get a 25% bonus to lock range
The resulting stats would look like this. ss+(2015-03-31+at+06.34.50)

The Warp Speed Rig

Currently this is one of the most useful rigs for roaming battleship groups and it is fitted regularly, at least amongst the people I know. It’s almost a necessity on battleships if they wish to keep up with the support cruisers. The problem here is that fitting it comes with a high penalty of -10% to -5% CPU, depending on your skills. You also give up rig slots which are particularly important on battlecruisers that need the extra power and can’t trade it for more warp speed. You are basically giving up an extra 15% shield or armor HP from a potential defensive rig and you lose fitting capacity at the same time. I think it’s a really good idea from CCP to change the CPU penalty to a signature penalty. Like with battlecruisers I would also suggest a small boost in warp speed for battleships up to 2.2 au/s which would allow them to hit the magical 3 au/s with two Hyperspatial rigs.

Closing words

I really feel that the upcoming changes will help some ships a lot. It’s good to see that CCP are actually listening to us in the CSM and that the community has a say in the balance of some things. CCP are currently taking small steps with some changes and while I personally think that battlecruisers in general need a rework, they might not want to take such drastic measures. The changes to hyperspatials are fantastic though, because they will allow more flexibility for battleships and battlecruisers who almost always choose at least one of these rigs if they are planning on doing longer roams. While CCP haven’t said anything about upcoming targeting stat buffs for battleships, they might consider them in the future.    
Tags: balancing, battlecruisers, battleships, Gorski Car, theorycrafting

About the author

Gorski Car

Gorski Car was a CSM 9 member whose theorycrafting and knowledge of mechanics has had a key role in helping CCP adjust how we play EVE. He is an avid small gang PvPer with a background in lowsec, but flies in all areas of space, depending on his fancy.

  • Good read mates good read

  • Kamar Raimo

    This almost reads like the man did some thinking while he was on the CSM and even now he refuses to stop making reasonable suggestions 🙂

  • Inslander Wessette

    Imo. In small gangs~medium gang the issues that i have faced is that, the T3 cruisers out classing T1 battleships . In terms of mobility, damage and tank and the price difference is only around 100 mil . Until T3’s prevail with such superiority. Battleships will be pushed back. A good hike on the production cost of T3’s wud be nice putting all t3’s around 500 mil instead of 300 mil . They have warp interdiction immunity, they have a smaller sig rad, they have better ewar bonuses and better tank than a battleship . Why should they be priced so closed to T1 battleships . Where as a megathron navy issue cost about 500 mil .

    • Wild Things

      Check the price of T3’s again, friend.
      Hull is 130m + 250m for 5 subsystems.

      Also you must factor in insurance when talking about balancing via cost. A T2 fitted battleship only costs ~70m to lose whereas a T2 fitted Strat Cruiser is 350m + skillpoints.

      • Inslander Wessette

        yes 350 mil proteus + subs. The price of a Hyperion is 220 mil . 130 mil is the difference ( which is not much considering the advantages they get. Insurance is the cost that i get after i lose my ship . I am making the difference based on the buy value . Losing a ship and gaining the insurance is another issue altogether. Its whats on the killboard in isk efficiency rather than be bragging ” already replaced” with insurance .

        • Wild Things

          lmao fuck off

          • Inslander Wessette

            heh …. same to u sir

        • Leo2014

          So for 55% more cost you get a better ship?? What is the argument here?
          Better ships cost more money, does not matter what the hull size is.

    • Kamar Raimo

      You make it sound like they can have all those things at once. If you fit an interdiction nullified EWAR Tengu, its tank will be pretty terrible. It will be better than a Falcon or a Rook, but also twice as expensive. It sure wouldn’t compare to a Scorpion in tank and EWAR capacity. The same is true for other variants of T3s and comparable battleships. Most notably the damage output of T3s tends to be rather weak.

      Other than many, I think T3s are in a decent place. Their EWAR is weaker than that of a recon T2, their damage output is worse than a HAC and their support configurations are much more limited than that of Logi or Command Ships. Their tank tends to be pretty heavy, that is the only thing where they really stand out as cruisers. To say they are tankier than battleships is an exaggeration though.

      • Inslander Wessette

        I am not comparing T3’s to recons or HAC’s . Its a discussion for another day . T3’s to T1 Battleships . There are no T1 battleship with the bonuses of proteus or loki propulsion jamming bonuses at the same time capable of doing 700~800 dps. The example of the tengu is a bit weird yes. But the rest of the t3’s can field their utility subsystems without sacrificing tank .

        • Kamar Raimo

          Granted, The Proteus doesn’t lose anything for fitting the point/scram extender, but the Legion definitely becomes very specialised with the neut subsystem and the Loki has the worst CPU on the webbing subsystem and it also forces the Loki into an armour configuration (not that I mind).

          As far as actual EWAR goes no T3 except the Tengu even offer that option (although nobody is interested in Minmatar EWAR anyway). Also, the compoarison is difficult because except the Scorpion/Widow there aren’t actually any specialised EWAR battleships in the game.

    • Kamar Raimo

      Another thing that people often forget. If you have a mid-sized gang with logi and they can not keep everyone pre-locked all the time, it is much quicker to switch targets and land reps if you are flying in a battleship fleet rather than T3s

      • Inslander Wessette

        A guardian pilot can have upto 10 ppl prelocked . It doesn’t get that difficult for the logi pilot to swap considering the t3’s tank . But yes, i guess it will be easier for logi to lock up BS than T3s

  • chessur

    Really well written, and some nice insight from a great pilot. Thanks for the read gorski

  • Good one Gorski. Also make people stop calling you _car_ in public when you are _spaceship_. An Emperor one.

    • Mizhir

      Gorski Car is Serbian for Mountain King

      • Kamar Raimo

        Always wondered where the name comes from. It also appears to be the title of a Serbian novel from the late 19th century that was adapted into a TV miniseries in 1986.

  • And this is why we should have voted him into CSMX.

  • Messiah Complex

    I agree with everything you wrote, especially the suggestion to scrap the useless link bonus for battlecruisers.

    I just went through the last 100 kills of each Combat BC on zkillboard to see how many of them had at least one link fit, and this is what I came up with:

    BRUTIX 0
    CYCLONE 1
    DRAKE 0
    FEROX 3
    HARBINGER 2
    HURRICANE 0
    MYRMIDON 1
    PROPHECY 3

    That’s 10 out of 800, or 1.25% of all Combat FC’s having at least one link fit when they died.

    The ability to fit links is a role bonus. Half of all standard T1 frigates have role bonuses. All T1 Destroyers, Attack BC’s, Logistics Cruisers, and Industrials have role bonuses (sometimes multiple). The only T1 hull class that lacks any role bonus whatsoever is the battleship.

    In every case but Combat BC’s, the role bonus defines the ship: it gives purpose where otherwise it would be useless or nearly so.

    A Combat BC role bonus involving either damage application or projection, similar to those found on Destroyers, would be actually useful. It wouldn’t have to be huge — say a flat 25% drone velocity bonus for the Prophecy or the Myrmidon — but just enough to provide an incentive to use a ship with double the sig radius of a cruiser and a fat ass.*

    * Meaning that the ships are slow and lack agility, and have fat asses.

    • Kamar Raimo

      The conclusion clearly has to be that you die with a higher probability if you do not fit links on your BC.

      I love misinterpreting statistics 🙂

      • Messiah Complex

        If you’re going to do it, that’s the way you do it. 😉

  • Expert Opinion

    Great Article.

  • lowrads

    I’d rather see battlecruisers and battleships holding the field against cruisers, including advanced cruisers, even those with oversize propulsion modules. To that end, I’d give range bonuses to the battlecruisers, and move some damage application bonuses to cruisers to reel in their range without reducing their anti-support capabilities.

    I think the relationship between bombers and battleships should be revisited even if bombers are supposed to be an anti-blobbing tool. Fleet warp formation is the big Achilles heel of battleship mobility. If you are first to field, you can stage deployments and spread out, but otherwise it is generally very risky.