The Wheel of Fortune: Capital Rebalance


It is time. The big capital rebalance is announced.

Ambiguous Buffs

I wish that I had more to say at this point about what is getting buffed. Titans are getting area of effect doomsdays that come in a few different area patterns. Supers are getting area of effect ewar “doomsday” weapons. The effects are all over the place. Mass teleportation is a titan thing which also tackles hostile capitals at range. Some of the doomsday effects drain capacitor from everyone nearby. The titan abilities look fairly well locked in, with five or six doomsday weapons coming. Supers “doomsday” EWAR is much more in the air. Dreads get anti-subcapital turrets but take a nerf to the tracking of existing weapons. Carriers and supers get fighter squadrons that look like the World of Warship Carrier gameplay, complete with new camera options.

The reason I’m just spouting all this stuff without much analysis is because I do not know any details or even any big picture questions, except this one thing; they said the dreadnought’s anti subcapital weapon system would do about 2000 DPS. How much damage will the new fighter squadrons do to subcapitals? I don’t know. How much damage will the new AOE doomsdays do? I don’t know, but they said something about it being related to signature radius. Will the carrier fighter squadrons or the dreadnought “high angle” guns be a better choice for attacking subcapitals? I don’t know. Will the carrier heavy fighter squadrons with torpedoes or the dreadnought with regular guns be a better choice for attacking capitals? I don’t know. How much more damage will a super do than a carrier now that they are using the same weapon system? I don’t know. They said something about 3-5 flights of fighters. Maybe the carrier gets three and the super gets five, so the super is doing 66% more DPS? It wasn’t clear.

“…implied that capitals were going to bring the pain much harder than they do right now.”

In general, I saw a bunch of vague but cool stuff that was exciting to hear about and implied that capitals were going to bring the pain much harder than they do right now. I think that this was CCP’s intention. They would like people to think that this is a buff. The greatest cheers to CCP’s vision were all about changes that sounded like buffs on the face of them. I felt that a lot of these cool goodies were used to cover for the serious nerfs that are also being brought to capitals. CCP were playing a careful game where they wanted public perception to see a buff, while they delivered a nerf to the things that were harming the game. Now to be clear, I totally believe CCP when they imply that they are bringing a DPS buff. Even though CCP are not giving us numbers I think that they are going to deliver. Capitals are going to shred things viscously, but they are losing some things. In the future, expect a little more glass cannon and a little less battle turtle.  

The Four Prongs of the Survivability Nerf

Capitals are taking a nerf to the face in several major ways that impact how tough a capital in the middle of a capital fleet will be. This is an excellent set of nerfs if the buffs come through as expected. Once a capital fleet has been lured to the field by the promise of its own firepower, there is a chance that some of them will die. Watching the explosions as a capital fleet rips through its opposition while taking a few losses itself will be much more exciting than the boring prolonged grinds. 60 Slowcats with a nearly unbreakable RR tank slowly killing a single subcapital is not enthralling gameplay. Still, when all is said and done we are talking about weaker capital fleets than before.

dread tracking

The new, fast-tracking “high angle” capital weapons in action

The first step is stripping carriers and supers of remote repair ability. The role of remote rep goes to a new ship called a force auxiliary that will have to enter triage to provide reps. In triage, unless something changes, they cannot receive remote reps. (They will be vulnerable to EWAR.) These rep platforms are going to fold over quickly when the full firepower available in a capital fight finds them. For people not used to triage, a well fit carrier can tank 20-50K DPS depending on the circumstances. That comes to 2-5 short range dreadnoughts. When 20 dreads show up, the lifespan of the repair boats will be measured in 10s of seconds. For someone not used to capitals, imagine you were flying a shield fleet but your Scimitars could not repair each other. If you got into an even fight how long would your logi wing last?

“The ability to refit is being nerfed; you cannot refit with a weapons timer. This will primarily affect people who are on the receiving end of DPS.”

The ability to refit is being nerfed; you cannot refit with a weapons timer. This will primarily affect people who are on the receiving end of DPS. It is common to refit damage mods to tank mods when you come under fire. Each new tank mod increases the survivability of a ship by a substantial multiplier. Without this ability, capitals are going to exhibit much lower EHP values in the field. They will fare poorer under reps with lower resist values.

EWAR immunity is being removed, and replaced with resistance. Capitals will have built in warp core stabs and a fixed reduction of the strength of EWAR they receive. The reduction value is not set in stone, but what would happen is that a 50% reduction would turn a damp that did -75% lock range into a damp that only did -37.5% lock range. Given stacking penalties, capitals will feel EWAR, but they will not be crippled by it. Overall, capitals will be easier to tackle and disrupt. Although, with many built in warp core stabs a single Rifter still will not be a threat to a titan. This is not only a survivability hit – EWAR generally reduces the target’s ability to do damage. However, if the force auxiliary (new triage carrier) is damped or jammed, something shiny might die without getting any reps. Yes, you can now get jammed in triage.

On top of that, CCP heavily implied that they would be reducing the EHP values of these larger ships. They released a chart comparing subcapital and capital EHP values as support for their logic. We did not get any specifics, but we did get a promise that EHP values and DPS values would be readjusted.


The “sickle” doomsday weapon

Why do I like this?

Capitals that turtle up and cannot be killed are surely powerful, but they are also boring. It contributes to the stagnation of the game. I could be wrong, but I imagine fast capital battles. I imagine the firepower increase pushing these things onto the field more often. I imagine the little guy who has a smaller capital fleet being more willing to take a swing at the big guy. It is OK to lose a stack of dreads if a titan goes down on the other side. This feels like the Black Legion wet dream where they would terrorize much bigger groups with the possibility of 60 or 100 dreads showing up for a suicide op.

The potential downside is that capitals will become so weak that they are not worth using over subcapital fleets. But I just do not see it. The firepower these things will have should be so good that they are worth fielding. It may be that they depend much more on having a good subcapital support fleet. Is that a problem? Currently titans need to be supported by carriers. If they had to be supported by a mix of something else is that a bad thing?

We have not had many good capital fights recently. These changes look like they will bring capitals to the field more often, and I’m all for that.

new capital plan

Ship Roles

As far as I can tell, these are the roles that are coming for specific capitals after the rebalance:


Long range anti-subcapital

Long range anti-capital


Sieges and cannot receive remote repair

Short range anti-subcapital (indestructible weapon system)

Anti-capital (indestructible weapon system)


Long range anti-subcapital

Long range anti-capital

“Doomsday” (AOE) EWAR


Short range anti-subcapital (indestructible weapon system)

Anti-capital (indestructible weapon system)

Doomsday (AOE) damage

Fleet teleportation

Force Auxiliary

Triage carrier



There is some overlap between the roles here. A botched balance pass could leave either carriers or dreadnoughts as the preferred ship if one is better at killing both capitals and subcapitals. Carriers are losing access to regular drones, so the days of endless waves of sentries is over. There is no information about how tough a fighter will be, or how many extra waves a carrier might have. We may eventually find that fighters are too vulnerable, and the dreadnought turrets which can’t be destroyed are the prefered way of delivering face smash.

“It would have been a good thing for CCP to show something new and sweet for supercarriers to ease the pain of losing the ability to do remote repairs.”

CCP were actually weakest on what doomsday effects that supercarriers were going to get. I think this was a mistake because I personally know a few super pilots who are nervous. The new titan doomsday animations were pretty awesome, particularly the slicing laser (even though it was a mockup). It would have been a good thing for CCP to show something new and sweet for supercarriers to ease the pain of losing the ability to do remote repairs. I was most excited by a passing comment about maybe giving supercarriers the ability to fire interdiction spheres at long range. Tackling an enemy fleet from 250KM away would be a pretty sweet thing. Still, the titan doomsday that teleports subcapitals away already tackles enemy capitals. Supers are really going to need some love for pilots to feel happy about the changes.

I should note that all capitals can now be used as a suitcase. If you happen to be a dreadnought jockey, you do not also have to buy a carrier to haul your stuff around. This is a nice little quality of life improvement and you can add ‘suitcase’ to the role of every ship in the list, including the Rorqual.

CCP said that they would not announce what else they were doing to the Rorqual. They stayed very quiet on it and did not commit to any particular position. Given that CCP have a tendency to openly speculate about possibilities, I think that this implies that they have a role in mind for the Rorqual, but they do not wish to talk about it right now.


An example of the new fighter squadron command UI

Homeworld of Spaceships

Carriers and supers will be able to order their fighters around as in an RTS. For practical purposes, the way the weapon system gets used does not matter as much as the results. Fighters deliver DPS at long range, but from the perspective of the pilot how a weapon feels is very important. As a newbie I loved the visceral sound of artillery shells and felt a special attachment to the weapon system. I suspect that the command and control of fighters will be a unique and rewarding experience. It will leave carrier pilots feeling as if they did have control of a small fleet themselves, a very rewarding sensation for someone who put the time and money into climbing into a carrier.

In Conclusion

I like the changes. However, the devil is in the details and the details are hazy. CCP could not state a single EWAR “doomsday” they were going to implement for supercarriers. Many of the titan doomsday effects did not have animations. CCP could not state how much DPS weapons systems were going to do. CCP could not tell us what EHP values various ships would end up with. They did not commit to how much a force auxiliary would rep. It feels like CCP rushed their development to showcase what they had at EVE Vegas. They have an overarching plan, but they really need some more time to hash the details. Until we know the details, we will not know if the plan is brilliant or terrible. So we wait patiently and we watch for information.


Tags: capital ships, capital warfare, EVE Vegas, Mukk, rebalancing

About the author

Mukk Barovian

Mukk is a long time skirmish FC with a penchant for overpropping his ships.