Archive for the Fittings Category

At Long Last :: The Assault Ship Buff

Posted in Fittings on December 23, 2011 by Easley Thames

Everyone is talking about the assault ship changes posted by the same redditor who brought us an accurate preview of the tier-3 BC stats before CCP released any information on them.

I don’t know his/her methods, but apparently he/she is able to filter out relevant ship changes from the “Chaos Client cache,” using what I can only assume to be some sort of magical scrying stone.

I have a few preliminary thoughts on these changes…


(1) The MWD bonus seems highly ineffectual:

I think that the devs may be attempting to encourage the use of a “heavy interceptor” setup that can remain highly survivable while MWDing out to tackle targets for roaming gangs, or even in larger fleet battles.

However, this “heavy interceptor” role bonus really isn’t something that will be particularly useful to most gangs, or even most assault ship pilots.

Changes in fleet composition trends, game mechanics, and FC preferences over the last few years have caused frigate tacklers to fall out of favor, in both fleet warfare and roaming pvp.

The rise of idiot-proof probing has removed the phenomenon of 150km+ snipers (who cannot track frigs for shit) from 0.0, the popularity of close-ranged turret BS has made orbiting frigs into mere fodder, e-war immune super-caps determine the victor in most serious battles, and missile-spamming 100MN AB-Tengu fleets give absolutely zero fucks if you scram them.

The bottom line is, there is no longer a need for a “hero inty” to burn out to the enemy like we saw depicted in the Incarna trailer.

Even in smaller fleets, it only takes a few roaming fit-BCs to pop an MWDing assault ship in a single volley, before it can reach them at range on a gate or station.

The focus has instead shifted towards well-placed interdiction spheres, heavily-tanked HIDs, long-range tackling recons, and tech-3 “strategic” cruiser tacklers with faction mods.

These ships can provide better tackling, usually from further away, and can actually be supported by logistics on a reliable basis.

In solo PvP, with a few notable exceptions – such as Imperial Navy Slicers – solo frigs rarely run MWD-only fits today.

Almost all 1v1 frigate setups plan on fighting within scram range these days. Worse yet, mwd/scram/web frigs can often be escaped by AB/scram  frigs, with only web-bonused ships like the Daredevil being a consistent exception.

For this reason, most pilots fit to optimize their performance within scram range, rather than attempting to kite.


(2) Most people expected something else:

The two most popular theories discussed have always been an AB speed-boost (as a flat role bonus of perhaps 25-50%) or e-war resistance (such as web immunity). I would greatly prefer either of these bonuses to an MWD-related bonus.

Since interceptors already have the MWD signature bloom reduction, would it not make much more sense to give assault ships an AB-related bonus?

This would benefit assault ships in close-range tackling, further augmenting their defensive capabilities, without encroaching on the (already greatly diminished) territory of ‘ceptors.

I believe an AB-buff is what most of the player-base would have voted for, if given the chance. However, I would personally favor an even more dramatic change.

My suggestion is that CCP allow assault ships to fit medium weapons!

The game really doesn’t need yet another boring frigate-sized tackler, it needs original ship concepts that spur innovation and force battle-soured capsuleers to reconsider their dogmatic approach to warfare.

Where will the Amarrian God be when your fancy new Oracle gets tackled by an AB-fit Enyo with a rack of Heavy Neutron Blaster II’s?

I think that this would be in-line with the tradition of over-sized weapons established first by stealth bombers and, more recently, tier-3 battlecruisers.

I digress though. Back to the tentative changes.


(3) EHP values are going up:

The next general buff to all assault ships seems to be the addition of either 200 armor or shield, depending on the natural tanking predisposition of the ship.

Some have said that this will tip the balance even further in favor of assault ships against close-range faction frigs, which are already starting to go down in price (particularly Dramiels). I certainly agree with that sentiment.

However, I think this was done, more than anything else, to put comparatively-expensive assault ships (and I use the word “expensive” with a degree of sarcasm here)  in a better position against the recently (and rather unexpectedly) buffed T1 destroyers, which are very affordable.

The passive armor/shield buff also favors passive fits that can attach a multiplier effect to the added HP (such as a core defense extender or trimarks) rather than active setups.

However, I personally believe we may well see a golden age of active-tanked assault ships used by solo combat pilots due to the improved slot-layouts.


(4) Added slots and fittings space will create new possibilities:

Each assault ship will be receiving an added slot!

VENGEANCE +1 HIGH (utility only)

The biggest change here has to be the addition of a second mid-slot to the god-damned Retribution. A frigate with one mid-slot is just a fundamentally flawed design, and it’s a bit disappointing that we had to wait for a full overhaul of the ship class to get this thing modified.

These layouts, combined with some extra PG or Cpu here and there, should enable some dangerous new setups.

For example, the Enyo gains a slot that could be filled with a web, but I believe many will attempt to emulate the success of Garmon’s legendary taranis fit by opting for dual-prop layout.

The Vengeance in particular seems singled by these changes, and arguably has improved the least, but it was already so good at what it did that it hardly needed improvement. This hard-tanking frigate is the PzKpfw 38H735 (f) or “Hotchkiss” of Eve – a reference I suspect many tank-driving Eve players will agree with.

More relevant to my own tastes, CCP may-well have ushered in a the golden era of dual-rep armor tanking assault ships. I am very excited to experiment with cap-injected, dual-repping Ishkur.


(5) The Missing 4th Bonuses Finally Applied:

T2 ships, regardless of whether they have a role bonus or not, always gain two additional bonuses on top of their two T1 hull bonuses. That is, except for Assault Ships.

This shortfall has always vexed many pilots, and at last we have those missing bonuses.

An extra 5% or 7.5% per level can make a huge difference in a dog fight, and this will further cement the Assault Ship as the new kings of close-range frigate brawling.



Bad Fits – My Top 5 Pet Peeves

Posted in Fittings on October 27, 2010 by Easley Thames

I could spend a month just going over all the bad fits I’ve run across. That doesn’t interest me, and I suspect it wouldn’t interest anyone else either.

What does intrigue me is the sheer number of times I see some very basic fitting rules broken. There are some rules that have exceptions, but for the most part these are guiding principles that should never be deviated from.

The following 5 fittings mistakes are my pet peeves:

1) Never Use Under-Sized Buffer Mods: Whether it’s a 400mm plate on a Battleship or a MSE on a HAC, under-sized buffer mods are extremely common, even among otherwise outstanding pilots.

First off, there is literally no ship that should ever fit the following mods:

-Small shield extenders

-50mm Plates, 100mm Plates

Here is the correct Armor Plating Breakdowns:

200mm Plates – Frigates/destroyers

400mm – Fridates / destroyers (usually requires MAPC)

800mm – Cruisers (usually gank setups that need grid and can’t fit 1600)

1600mm – BC, BS and some cruisers (especially t2 hulls)

And the correct Shield Extender Breakdown:

MSE: Frig /dictor

LSE: Everything from cruiser-size up thru battleship size

2) The Single Armor Rep Tank (for ships above frigate class): As mentioned in the heading, this obviously doesn’t apply to frigates. Active tanked armor frigs can easily get by with a single rep. That said, above the frigate class, only carriers can get away with an active armor tank that relies on only one rep.

A single rep is just  not enough for most 1v1 situations, let alone dealing with focus fire from a small gang. Good options are: Dual-rep, buffer, or buffer + mono rep. Never just a single rep. Learn this and have greater success.

3) Excessive ‘Fittings’ Mods: There are 2 RCU and an ACR on your ship? Cool fitting bro. I’m sure it was worth losing 2 slots and a rig to fit the larger variant of your turrets or an extra plate at the expense of resists or DPS. The absolute limit should be 1 low-slot OR 1 rig (and not both). I firmly believe that any setup that goes beyond a single rig or low-slot could be re-worked for greater results. For example, you can always drop some of your weapons down a tier (as in 425 autos down to 220mm autos, or changing out neutrons for ions).

4) Passive Capacitor Recharge Mods on Non-Logistics, Neuting or Capital Ships: If it’s not a logistic, capital or energy neutralizing ship then this is a very likely sign of inexperience. In the vast majority of cases, success in PvP is about your ability to perform well for minutes at a time, not hours. You don’t need to be fully cap stable running everything, and it often comes at a high cost since you need several mids or lows to get significant results in cap recharge time.Simply use an injector if cap will be an issue.

*In a very small number of cases, a cap battery may make sense, but this fitting style largely disappeared in the nano age (when ships like Nano Ishtars were almost always fit with a battery).

5) Untanked Tacklers: This always bothers me, but never more so than on Dramiel loss mails. Just because a ship is extremely fast doesn’t mean you won’t ever get hit. When you’re faster than every other ship in the game (other than another person in your exact ship) it’s not necessary to hollow out your structure with nanofibers. A shield buffer fits naturally with the light tackler setup and a damage control is, in many cases, the difference between losing or killing another frigate if you get into a 1v1 situation.