Upcoming Changes – Battlecruiser Balance, Black Ops Buff, and Dueling21
It’s hard to find exact dates, but it looks like sometime before the end of February CCP plans to change ALL of the Battlecruisers, give Black Ops a slight Buff, and add a new Dueling system (reminds me of Runescape, and that’s not a good thing).
First up the Battlecruisers…
The changes to the Hurricane, are the most irritating. Across the board they are making it slower, heavier, less agile, AND reducing the Shield Hit Points! Then to rub salt in the wound they are removing one high slot. As a result, the old “Shield Nano” will definitely be less effective, and possibly even useless. But I’ll need to see it in EFT first.
The Cyclone is getting a buff. They are increasing the Drone Bandwidth from 40 to 50, increasing capacitor and hit points across the board, adding CPU, removing 1 high slot, and adding one low slot. The theme here seems to be an even better shield tank with increased Missile DPS output. This will possibly be the new Minmatar BC of choice.
The Myrmidon is getting a nice buff as well. It will receive an extra 25 Drone Bandwidth (bringing it to 100m3) which means it will be able to launch 3 Heavy and 2 Medium Drones now, plus they are adding 25m3 to the Drone bay as well. The capacitor is getting buffed, which is great for active tanking Myrms but they are reducing shield and armor HP while adding structure HP. The high slots on the Myrm are being reduced from 6 to 5, highlighting the push towards a Drone Boat. In the end it looks like it will be a better active tanked drone boat that is easily counterable with Alpha Strike Arty ships like the Tornado.
The Brutix will get better cap, more agility, more powergrid, more armor and structure hit points, and an extra low slot. Reminds me a lot of the Thorax changes. An agile high DPS ship that can be buffer tanked or active tanked.
The Drake will get a fitting nerf, but probably not enough to make a real difference. Next they are Nerfing the hit points across the board, denting the iconic tanking ability. Then to really kick it in the nuts, they are dropping one high slot, and reducing the already weak capacitor. The only real buff for the Drake appears to be a very small boost to agility.
The Ferox is getting a much needed buff across the board. One extra low slot, better agility, better cap, more hit points, more targeting range, and more PG + CPU for fitting. I think this will earn the ship some new followers and I’m curious what the new fitting of choice will be? Passive Buffer? X-Large ASB?
The Harbinger is getting some interesting changes… A bigger Damage output bonus (10% instead 5% to Medium Energy Turret Damage), increased drone bay from 50m3 to 75m3, better sensor strength, and a little more agility. Counter that with less hit points across the board, less powergrid, less CPU, one less high slot. The result? I’m not sure, but I would think a slightly more flexible, probably short range gank ship. The reduced powergrid makes Beam Lasers very unlikely, so I would guess Pulse Lasers and ECM drones as an escape mechanism.
Finally we come to the Prophecy, which is getting a huge “repurposing” if that’s even a word (spell check says no). The Prophecy, once only usable for Baiting and soaking up damage, will now be a very interesting Drone Boat. The changes are many, but rather than list the Technicals, I will just say this… It will be a Myrmidon, with a MASSIVE Armor Buffer Tank. It gets the same 10% Bonus to Drone Damage and Hit Points per Battlecruiser Level as the Myrmidon, but only 75m3 Bandwidth and not the 100m3 that the Myrm will.
This makes the Prophecy the most exciting of the changes (followed by the Cyclone). The fitting will be clear, buffer tank with slave implants and T3 cruiser Armor bonus so you get 300,000 or so EHP. Then Sit on a gate or station and kill people while they curse their LCD Monitors and complain on Comms “This thing won’t die!” Followed by the Prophecy de-aggroing at 60% Armor and jumping or docking. I’m guessing the DPS output on this will be somewhere between 400-500 DPS.
Next up, the Black Ops Buff
From what I’m seeing they are hoping to do this by February 12th and the major change will be increasing the Base Jump Range to 3.5 Light Years, while reducing the fuel needed to jump. If my math is right that will mean a 8.5 Light Year Range with Jump Drive Calibration 4 (pretty much doubling the range).
The hope here is that this will make Black Ops more popular, and I think it definitely will to a small degree. But I personally would like to see a new Ship Bonus added. Something unique to the class.
Then we have the new Dueling System
First let me express my dislike of the whole idea of formal dueling. It feels like it’s simplistic and outdated as a game mechanic.
To simplify the whole system, it’s basically the ability to issue a “Challenge” to another player that, if accepted results in a mutual Limited Engagement Timer. Should neutral Logistics get involved, they will get a Suspect Flag making them targets to everyone. This would seem to make it more advantageous to fight on busy stations because cheaters are more likely to be punished by other players there.
I know the old, drop a can system was bulky or even odd, but it made more sense to me. That old way is now less likely due to Suspect Flag being global instead of only to one person or corporation.
I can’t say it’s bad, but it just seems cheesy to me. “You have dishonored my Retriever! I demand satisfaction good sir!” Haha
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