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So, the Caldari reached Tier V again Sunday.  I missed the LP dump, but I didn’t have very much LP this time around so I’ll just wait till next time.  I still am selling some Datacores from the first LP dump I was on, so.. overall I am sitting fairly well.  Not rich, but not poor either.

I spent some time this weekend looking for 1vs1 fights, usually trying to sneak into less populated realms in Black Rise.  I managed to get into two fights with my Incursus, which at the time was an armor plated set up.  My first 1vs1 was against a Dramiel in the Riahbaka system.  Normally I wouldn’t have tried as the Dramiel is just so vastly superior.. but he had aggroed the local NPCs on the Plex and I was still feeling a bit cheeky, so I decided to try it.  We raced toward each other and we snagged each other at close range.  What he wasn’t expecting was my Tracking Disruptor.  We traded blows for a minute or so, his drones and autocannons pecking away at my 200mm plate, while my Neutrons and the NPCs pecked back.  His ship though, wasn’t as heavily shield tanked, and once I broke through, he started losing armor quick.  However, I hadn’t dealt with his drones either and they were making nice holes in my armor.  It was clear that in this situation, we were well-matched.. and he thought it a good idea to kick his AB on and bug out.. which was good for me because I wasn’t going to last much longer anyways.

The second fight was in the Caldari system of Kinakka.  I drove off an Incursus who was running a plex.  Since it was a home system, I chose to push the plex back toward Caldari.. that’s when the same pilot came back for another go.  This time, he opted to fight.  We traded blows at short range for a bit, my armor slowly being taken off, while he managed to mitigate the damage from both myself and some NPCs that were way far away.  Pretty soon it become apparent that I wasn’t going to win.. but he had overheated his AB and ran out of cap, so he wasn’t holding me down.  His drone I had dispatched already, but my ship was barely holding together, so I warped out, gave a “GF” in local.

So, ziltch on the kills, but no losses either.  Not great.

In Other News – Cruisers and Missiles and Bounties, oh MY!

Ah, first we saw the “Disruption” Cruisers get updated, then the Tech 1 Mining cruisers get changed into full blown support Logis, then we got to see the faster Attack Cruisers on display.. and now, now its finally time to see the Combat Cruisers and what they look like.  I can fly all of these, but I have usually flown the Rupture, so it will be interesting to see how these ships will do in the new combat environment.  Probably the biggest distinction is the fact that most of these ships actually LOST a high slot, with the Moa being the only one with high-slots left untouched (probably to make up for its looks).

Cruiser skill bonuses:
5% bonus to Medium Energy Turret damage
5% bonus to all Armor Resistances

Slot layout: 5 H (-1), 3 M, 6 L, 5 turrets
Fittings: 1000 PWG (+100), 280 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 1200(-168) / 2100(+225) / 1700(-19)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 1550(+50) / 515s(-22.5s) / 3 (+0.2)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 205(+41) / 0.56(-0.045) / 11550000 / 6.1s (-0.4)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 0 / 0
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 47.5km / 280(+10) / 6
Sensor strength: 16 Radar (+2)
Signature radius: 130
Cargo capacity: 480 (+200)

The first on the list is the Maller, which finally gets a decent direct damage bonus.  While it does lose a high slot, it gain a nice amount of powergrid and armor.  The capacitor, speed, and agility were all massively upgraded too.  We will definately see more of these on the field now.

Cruiser skill bonuses:
5% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret damage
5% bonus to shield resistances

Slot layout: 6 H, 4 M, 4 L, 5 turrets, 2 launchers
Fittings: 800 PWG (+20), 375 CPU (+15)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 2100(+225) / 1200(-129) / 1500(-24)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 1425(+50) / 475s(-16.25s) / 3 (+0.2)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 195(+31) / 0.54 / 11720000 / 5.9s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 15 / 15
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 55km / 260(+7) / 7
Sensor strength: 17 Gravimetric (+1)
Signature radius: 135
Cargo capacity: 450 (+200)

The second (perhaps even first) ugliest ship in the game, the Moa loses its range bonus and becomes the shield version of the new Maller.  Increases across the board from shield HP to fitting attributes, to capacitor charge and speed, while maintain its slot layout.  You’ll see a lot of this ship too, and I think Kirth Kodachi will probably feel vindicated in that this ship will likely replace the Rupture as the new top end Cruiser.

Cruiser skill bonuses:
5% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret damage
10% bonus to drone hitpoints, damage and mining yield

Slot layout: 4 H (-1), 4 M (+1), 5 L (+1), 4 turrets
Fittings: 800 PWG (+125), 300 CPU (+30)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 1100(-73) / 2000(+515) / 2000(+515)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 1450(+200) / 482.5s(+36.25s) / 3 (+0.2)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 215(+46) / 0.6(+0.03) / 10310000 / 5.8s (+0.3)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 75 / 100
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 52.5km / 280(+4) / 6(+1)
Sensor strength: 16 Magnetometric (+2)
Signature radius: 145 (-5)
Cargo capacity: 480

The Vexor retains its combat bonuses, while getting upgrades everywhere else.  The only cost to this is the loss of one high slot.  For that loss, it gets two additional slots, one midslot and one low slot.  The Vexor gets upgrades in every feature, with a 30% increase in armor and hull, increased in Powergrid and CPU, a larger and faster charging capacitor, a 30% increase in speed, a 20% increase in agility and even a smaller sig radius.

Cruiser skill bonuses:
5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret firing speed
5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret damage

Slot layout: 5 H (-1), 4 M (+1), 5 L, 4 turrets, 2 launchers
Fittings: 860 PWG, 350 CPU (+25)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 1500(-63) / 1800(+159) / 1600(+37)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 1275(+25) / 425s(-21.25s) / 3(+0.2)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 240(+48) / 0.54 / 11650000 / 5.9s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 30 / 30
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 50km(+5) / 290(+8) / 6(+1)
Sensor strength: 15 Ladar (+3)
Signature radius: 125 (-5)
Cargo capacity: 450 (+150)

Ah, the ship that is close to my heart, the Rupture.  Looking over these changes, the Rupture really didn’t get that much of a makeover.  It lost some DPS with the highslot being dropped and it gained a midslot, but I am not so sure how effective that will be.  Certainly one configuration that will shine more will be the 1600mm plate version.  The additional armor and cpu will be helpful, and in that configuration you go from having the holy Trinity (MWD, Web, Point), to a whole host of configurations, including better ASB and passive tanks to better E-War offense like Target Painters or Tracking Disruptors.  Or Dual Webs.  Or Dual Prop… hmmm..

But combat cruisers weren’t the only thing CCP is rolling out, the next big thing hits the Caldari pretty squarely, and some of the Minmatar and Amarr as well.  Yes, I am talking about the missile update, shown here:

Increase missile acceleration so that real range is much closer to the client assumed range of flighttime*speed against a stationary target. This means a slight range buff for all missiles, and missiles will act in a way that is more intuitive to newer players.

Short Range Missiles
Change the Guided Missile Precision skill, as well as all associated implants and rigs to affect all subcap missiles
Reduce HAM launcher PG requirements by 10%

Light Missiles
Decrease all Light Missile Launcher fitting requirements by 2pg and 4cpu
-Explosion radius reduced from 50 to 40
-Damage increased by 10% (rounded to closest digit)
-Affects all variant light missiles, including FOF.

Heavy Missiles
Base flight time reduced by 35%
-Base velocity increased by 14.66%

-In total, base range reduced by ~25%
Damage decreased by 10% (rounded to closest digit)
-Explosion radius increased by 12%

-Affects all variant Heavy missiles, including FOF.

Tech Two Missiles
-Remove ship penalties from tech two missiles (ship velocity and signature radius)
Precision: Increase bonuses to explosion velocity to +20%, increase damage to match T1 missiles
Fury: Increase damage bonus to +35%, reduce flight time to 50% of T1, unify penalties to explosion radius (+72%) and velocity (-16%) across the sizes

Javelin: Just remove ship penalties
Rage: Increase damage bonus to +35%, Unify flight time to match T1, unify velocity penalty (-16.7%), unify penalty to explosion velocity (-14%), increase penalty to explosion radius (+72%)

Tracking/Range Mods and Ewar
Tracking mod and disruptor changes moved out of this release until the first set of changes settles a bit

Overall, this is a good, good change and in all honestly, it has been a long time coming.  The penalties on the Tech 2 missiles made them too task specific.. as in, if situation developed where “x”, “y”, and “z” happened at the same time, then those missiles would be useful.  Outside of that, you were simply better off to go with faction missiles.  Now, they  have a use.  Heavy missiles, the staple of most Caldari pilots, have gotten an interesting, albeit probably not a solution I would agree to.  Their range and their damage has been decreased, though not nearly as much as they were initially. 

The problem I have  isn’t so much the reduction in damage, it really the reduction in range that is the issue.  Because really, Heavy Missiles should be the Caldari’s long range weapon, as compared to HAMs.  My thoughts would be to have a minimum timer where the missile does less damage until the timer hits zero.  Maybe it should be one or one and a half seconds before it gets to full damage.  “Time to arm” they could call it. 

The major downer to me is that they are delaying the Tracking mod change.  I was hoping to see it released soon.

Oooo.. how many Boba Fetts in Eve are there?

So, turn on the lights.  Play some romantic music.  And listen to the sounds of a half a million Excel spreadsheet supernerds (yes, that includes those that use Google docs) cheer in their native tongue in celebration that WE MIGHT NOW BE BOUNTY HUNTERS!! (I’m pretty sure though, after seeing fanfest pictures.. that the sound would be more like a warble).

There isn’t much detail yet, except to say that the bounty system appears to allow you to place bounties on ships in general and they can be placed again alliance, corporations, as well as individuals.  In addtion, you can now sell or rent your killrights.  As it stands now, it looks very likely the the formerly defunct “bounty hunter” career of Eve Online might actually come true..

Discussion Areas:

  • For Bounty Hunter Wannabes, press one.
  • To get your freak on with the new combat cruisers, press two.
  • To ALL THE MISSILES!!, please press three.