Saturday, 22 September 2012

Eve: missile adjustments

Today I'm going to analyse the missile changes proposed for the Winter expansion and already the subject of much bitterness. There are quite a number of changes to missiles but it seems most players when they read CCP Fozzie's post just see this:





Heavy Missiles
-Damage decreased by 20%






Already Tranquility is filled with people fire-selling their Tengus, up until now the most highly regarded PVE ship and also a mainstay of many pvp alliances' ship doctrines.

The first point I'd like to make that people might be missing is that the described changes are cumulative. So for example Scourge Fury missiles, the main armament of the legions of Drakes and Tengus infesting New Eden are all of these:

All Missiles
Heavy Missiles
Tech Two Missiles

and so get a lot of changes all told.

These are the changes to Tech 2 Scourge Fury Heavy Missiles:
- Improved acceleration (from All Missiles). Buff
-Base flight time reduced by 30%. Nerf.
-Base velocity increased by 6.66%. Buff - complements and stacks with acceleration improvement.
-Damage decreased by 20% (rounded to closest digit). Nerf.
-At the moment Fury missiles at Light and Heavy sizes have a faster explosion velocity than precision missiles, we'll be fixing this defect as part of the changes. Bug fix and nerf.
-Remove ship penalties from tech two missiles (ship velocity and signature radius). Tanking buff to Tengus which tank by being small and fast.

Currently most Tengu and Drake pilots use Scourge Fury for everything (I know I do). Even though there's a missile specifically for shooting small targets it's not noticeably better against frigates because of the explosion velocity bug. With the fixing of this bug and buffs to Precision missiles it becomes important to carry both ammo types. So let's also have a look at Scourge Precision missiles:

- Improved acceleration (from All Missiles). Buff
-Base flight time reduced by 30%. Nerf.
-Base velocity increased by 6.66%. Buff - complements and stacks with acceleration improvement.
-Damage decreased by 20% (rounded to closest digit). Nerf.
-At the moment Fury missiles at Light and Heavy sizes have a faster explosion velocity than precision missiles, we'll be fixing this defect as part of the changes. Bug fix and buff.
Precision: Improve bonuses to explosion velocity and explosion radius. Buffs.
-Increase damage to match T1 missiles. Buff.
- Reduce flight time slightly. Nerf.

Missile velocity and flight time multiply to give you your range. Generally these changes reduce flight time and give us more velocity as compensation. These stats are not equal. Velocity is better than flight time as it's very useful to have your damage arrive sooner. For example in pve at long range I can fire 3 or 4 volleys at a NPC destroyer but it will die in the first volley. If I'm being attentive I can fire one volley then retarget but in pve I'm often lazy. I'll press the fire button and not touch it again until its target is dead. For us lazy ratters more velocity less flight time is pretty useful change even if we lose a little range.

In pvp missiles seem especially slow and often people warp out before they get hit. Faster missiles will be a real boon.

Now let's look at damage. Against big targets it's a 20% nerf. However against small targets we will now be using Precision. Precision Heavy missiles are modified for damage as follows:
- 20% damage.
-At the moment Fury missiles at Light and Heavy sizes have a faster explosion velocity than precision missiles, we'll be fixing this defect as part of the changes. More damage against small things.
Precision: Improve bonuses to explosion velocity and explosion radius. More damage against small things.
-Increase damage to match T1 missiles. More damage. Specifically base damage will be changed from 130 to 150, a 15.3% increase.

When we come to add all that up we find that Tengus after the changes kill frigates significantly faster. Tengu pilots can look forward to doing more damage against small targets, having missiles that travel quicker and gaining minor tanking bonuses when using Fury, all offset by being noticeably weaker against larger targets.

We should now consider how Tengus run sites. Most sites consist of rats (NPC pirates) that aggro depending on various conditions. The most dangerous sites have lots of rats close to where you land on grid that aggro at once. After these changes we will land on grid with Precision missiles loaded and blap the only real danger - frigates that warp scram better than we do now. Once a Tengu is out of the entry trap it's pretty safe. I generally orbit a rock semi afk at 80 km and shoot whatever's nearest until it's all dead. I take pretty much no damage and am out of neut/web/scram range of anything but a tower (and towers die pretty fast). Sometimes I dual box with a battleship and let the battleship go in first and get the Tengu to range while the battleship handles the initial aggro. It's amazingly safe and lucrative PvE and quite frankly was in line for a nerf. No other ship could touch the Tengu's ability to do full damage at over 100 km range, to effortlessly tank huge rooms while only half paying attention. Tengus are currently utterly broken and these fixes simply mean that the larger ships will take a bit longer to die, possibly offset by less missile wastage and faster frigate killing.

So take advantage of the current panic and buy a fitted Tengu or two for 400 million if you can.

As for Drakes it's a hit on them, especially T1 fit newbie ratting/missioning Drakes. As so often in Eve well-intentioned changes leave high skill point veterans grinning while making life harder for new players. I also think we'll see the end of Drake doctrine as a major part of alliance pvp. (The ship's fate is not helped by the suggestion that the shield resists ship bonus may be taken away).

Let's now look at other missiles, again bearing in mind that these changes are cumulative. (Note I am unclear whether Fozzie's use of "Light Missiles", "Heavy Missiles", etc covers Rockets, HAMs etc. I'll assume it doesn't.)

Rockets:
- Increased missile acceleration
Javelin: Just remove ship penalties (ship speed penalty - a big nuisance for the small ships that might use Rockets).
Rage: Reduce range, increase damage slightly

Clearly a lot better. The only nerf is to Rage range but you can just switch to Javelins if you're out of range for Rage.

 Light Missiles:
- Increased missile acceleration.
-Explosion radius reduced from 50 to 40
-Damage increased by 10% (rounded to closest digit)
-At the moment Fury missiles at Light and Heavy sizes have a faster explosion velocity than precision missiles, we'll be fixing this defect as part of the changes.
-Remove ship penalties from tech two missiles (ship velocity and signature radius)
Precision: Improve bonuses to explosion velocity and explosion radius, increase damage to match T1 missiles, reduce flight time slightly
Fury: Increase damage, increase the severity of penalties to explosion radius and velocity


Massively buffed. Can't wait to fly one of the new Tier 2 Caldari Destroyers after all these missile upgrades come in. If I'm reading it right Light Precision missiles will get 6 damage increase buffs against small targets!


Heavy Assault Missiles:
Increased missile acceleration.
Javelin: Just remove ship penalties
Rage: Reduce range, increase damage slightly


Oh hey! Drakes and Tengus are getting buffed! Who knew?


Cruise Missiles:
- Increased missile acceleration.
-At the moment Fury missiles at Light and Heavy sizes have a faster explosion velocity than precision missiles, we'll be fixing this defect as part of the changes.
-Remove ship penalties from tech two missiles (ship velocity and signature radius)
Precision: Improve bonuses to explosion velocity and explosion radius, increase damage to match T1 missiles, reduce flight time slightly
Fury: Increase damage, increase the severity of penalties to explosion radius and velocity.


Increased damage on the Furies, Increased damage against small things on Precisions. Ravens are back, baby!


Torpedoes:
Increase missile acceleration.
Javelin: Just remove ship penalties
Rage: Reduce range, increase damage slightly


Yum, faster harder hitting Rage Torpedoes. I may have to resurrect that Golem plan.


Finally let's look at a significant change: Tracking modules. The new susceptibility to Tracking Disruptors will have a moderate effect in pvp and will be an annoyance for pve-ers who fight against Amarr, Blood or Sansha rats. (Unless you're 80km away in a Tengu and out of range).


However the ability to use Tracking Computers - with scripts! - and Tracking Enhancers to improve our missiles is a big boon. On that note I present to you my patented Frig killing Raven fit:


Raven (Battleship)

6 Cruise Missile Launcher IIs, Mjolnir Precision Cruise Missiles
Large 'Vehemence' Shockwave Charge
Heavy Energy Neutraliser II


Large Shield Extender II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
EM Ward Field II
Prototype 100 Mn Microwarp Drive
2 Tracking Computer IIs, Tracking Speed scripts


Damage Control II
2 Ballistic Control System IIs
Tracking Enhancer II

Signal Amplifier II


2 Large Warhead Flare Catalyst Is
Large Warhead Rigour Catalyst I


75k effective hit points, 697 m/s, 2630 volley damage, 126.6 km optimal (may be increased by adjusting scripts), 134 km targeting range (with leadership bonus), hugely bonused against sig-tankers. May be bad for the health of Hero Rifters. Sorry, Hero Rifters!

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