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Okay, already a couple people have noted those tenative changes, which we will discuss from here.

First off, CCP Fozzie wants us to put our attention on two of the more radical changes, those that were done to the Prophecy and the Cyclone:

Prophecy:
Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
5% bonus to all Armor Resistances
10% bonus to drone damage and hitpoints

Fixed Bonus:
99% reduction in the CPU need of Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 5 H (-2), 4 M (+1), 7 L (+1), 4 turrets (-2), 4 Launchers (+3)
Fittings: 1100 PWG (-200), 415 CPU (+75)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 3000(-419) / 5500(+617) / 4250(-145)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 2850(+37.5) / 750s / 3.8 (+0.05)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 150 / 0.704 / 12900000 (-600,000) / 8.5s (-0.4)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 75 (+50) / 225 (+200)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 50km / 210 / 6
Sensor strength: 17 Radar (+1)
Signature radius: 270 (+5)
Cargo capacity: 400 (+50)

Okay, lots of changes here.. in fact a complete revamp of the ship entirely.  The nearly iconic resists have been kept, but there are no direct bonuses for turrets or missiles, despite a change that allows you to choose one or the other.  The focus of the damage is now drones, and the Prophecy went from just 25m3 for a drone by to a whopping 225m3, an 8x increase!  The bandwidth allows the Prophecy pilot to use up to three heavy drones for its assaults.  Other significant changes are the drop in mass and powergrid, but that shouldn’t be much of a problem considering its new role.  It did get a sizeable increase in CPU, Cap recharge, and cargo capacity.  So essentially you have a much faster, more manuverable, very tanky drone ship.

Cyclone:
Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
5% bonus to Heavy Missile and Heavy Assault Missile rate of fire
7.5% bonus to shield boosting amount

Fixed Bonus:
99% reduction in the CPU need of Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 7 H (-1), 5 M, 5 L (+1), 2 turrets, 5 Launchers
Fittings: 1200 PWG (-10), 525 CPU (+100)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 4750(+355) / 4000(+94) / 3500(+81)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 2250(+62.5) / 592s(+8.67s) / 3.8 (+0.05)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 165 / 0.704 / 12500000 / 8.2s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50 (+10) / 50 (+10)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 45km / 220 / 6
Sensor strength: 16 Ladar
Signature radius: 250 (+10)
Cargo capacity: 450 (-25)

The Cyclone, long the pariah of the Battlecruiser lineup, is now getting a fairly new revamp as well.  The ROF bonus for projectiles has now been switch for a ROF for missiles, while a high slot has been removed and replaced with a new lowslot.  Oddly enough, I don’t think this is a bad change.  The powergrid and CPU barely could support eight weapons, and some configurations just left off one of the highslots anyways.  And given the popularity of Ancillary Shield Boosters, that highslot won’t be missed.  The low slot however, coupled with a very nice boost to CPU, is definately going to turn some heads.  More than enough CPU for a Gyro (actually for a BCU, thanks for the catch Chanina) and for fitting the ASB with their new stats.  Defenses on all fronts have been upgraded and so have all the stats on the capacitor.  In addition, the drone bay and bandwidth have been expanded to allow for full wing of medium drones.  Not a bad change overall.

Harbinger:
Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
10% (+5%) bonus to Medium Energy Turret Damage
10% bonus Medium Energy Turret capacitor use

Fixed Bonus:
99% reduction in the CPU need of Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 7 H (-1), 4 M, 6 L, 6 turrets (-1)
Fittings: 1325 PWG (-175), 350 CPU (-25)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 3000(-516) / 5000(-469) / 4500(-188)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 3125 / 822s(+72s) / 3.8 (-0.366)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 150 / 0.704 / 13800000 (+300,000) / 9.1s (+0.2)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50 / 75 (+25)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 55km (+5) / 210 / 6
Sensor strength: 17 Radar (+1)
Signature radius: 270 (+5)
Cargo capacity: 375 (+25)

The Harbinger gained (edited, had said “lost” and that was incorrect) some DPS with the dropping of a turret and a highslot.  But that isn’t the only thing that got changed.  Often considered the nearly on par with the Hurricane, it has received some significant reductions, losing nearly a thousand HP between shield and armor reductions.  The Harbinger also lost about 15% of its powergrid as well as some of its CPU.  It did get a good boost as it can fit another wing of light drones, but overall the Harbinger is significantly reduced.

Drake:
Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
5% bonus to all Shield Resistances
5% bonus to heavy and heavy assault missile kinetic damage

Fixed Bonus:
99% reduction in the CPU need of Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 7 H (-1), 6 M, 4 L , 7 Launchers
Fittings: 840 PWG (-10), 515 CPU (-10)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 5250(-219) / 3250(-658) / 4000(+94)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 2500(-312.5) / 658s(-92s) / 3.8 (+0.05)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 140 / 0.64(+0.012) / 14810000 (+800,000) / 8.9s (+0.7)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 25 / 25
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 60km / 195 / 8
Sensor strength: 19 Gravimetric
Signature radius: 295 (+10)
Cargo capacity: 450 (+105)

The Drake, long considered far too powerful for it size and often the bane of null-sec pilots, the Drake gets some additional reductions besides the missile changes that took place when Retribution was released.  The losses include the removal of the one utility highslot, some powergrid and CPU, some drops in shield and armor HP and a big drop in capacitor reserves and only a slight improvement in recharge.  Add to that the already lumbering Drake now gets another 800k of mass, which will slow that puppy’s escape.  It still looks like it will sport the battleship class tank however, so while you’ll see more die, you won’t see any less of them fielded.

Hurricane:
Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret damage
5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret rate of fire

Fixed Bonus:
99% reduction in the CPU need of Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 7 H (-1), 4 M, 6 L, 6 turrets, 3 Launchers
Fittings: 1125 PWG, 400 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 4250(-47) / 4500(+188) / 3500(-16)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 2250(-562.5) / 592s(-158s) / 3.8 (+0.05)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 165 / 0.704 / 12800000 (+300,000) / 8.4s (+0.2)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 30 / 30
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 45km / 220 / 6
Sensor strength: 16 Ladar
Signature radius: 250 (+10)
Cargo capacity: 425 (-50)

The Hurricane keeps it iconic bonuses, but loses one of its utility highs.  Since the Hurricane already got the once over from CCP Fozzie at Retribution the changes aren’t all the extensive.  However, you do notice that the capacitor has been further hampered, with a smaller capacitor, though it does have a boost to the recharge rate.  Overall, I don’t think this is changes the current use of the ship, but it kinda reduces its endurance in the field, and particularly hampers dual armor rep versions of this ship.

Myrmidon:
Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
7.5% bonus to Armor Repairer effectiveness
10% bonus to drone damage and hitpoints

Fixed Bonus:
99% reduction in the CPU need of Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 5 H (-1), 5 M, 6 L, 5 turrets (-1)
Fittings: 1050 PWG (-125), 400 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 3500(-406) / 4500(-188) / 4750(+453)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 2850(+37.5) / 750s(+108.75s) / 3.8 (+0.05)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 145 / 0.704 / 13100000 / 8.6s (-0.1)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 100 (+25) / 175 (+25)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 55km / 200 / 7
Sensor strength: 18 Magnetometric
Signature radius: 305 (+5)
Cargo capacity: 400

You know, you just don’t see a lot of these in small gang or null-sec PVP, and these changes don’t really improve that likelihood either.  The dropping of a highslot and a turret as well as the reduction in both armor and shields has only been counteracted by an increase in the drone bandwidth, which now allows you to fly four heavies instead of three.  The dronebay has also been increased, but only enough for one more heavy.  Outside of that the capacitor has been slightly increased and the recharge has been boosted, but all in all it still is not likely to see much action other than PVE situations.

Ferox:
Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
5% bonus to all Shield Resistances
10% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret optimal range

Fixed Bonus:
99% reduction in the CPU need of Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 7 H, 5 M, 5 L (+1), 7 turrets (+1)
Fittings: 1100 PWG (+25), 510 CPU (+35)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 5000(+117) / 3500(+81) / 4250(+344)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 2750(+250) / 723s(+56.33s) / 3.8 (+0.05)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 140 / 0.65(+0.05) / 13510000 (-500,000) / 8.2s (+0.3)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 25 / 25
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 65km (+5)/ 195 / 8
Sensor strength: 19 Gravimetric
Signature radius: 295 (+10)
Cargo capacity: 475 (+130)

I’ve always been rather hopeful that CCP would give the Ferox something to make it stand out.  When the Drake was introduced, it was simply superior in every way, especially in the tank department and with missiles being far more reliable than railguns, the Ferox didn’t even have a prayer.  It’s one use, long range attacks was also taken away from it with the release of the Tier 3 Battlecrusiers and the Naga’s ability to effectively use Battleship class railguns made the Ferox useless.  CCP Fozzie has increased the Turrets to seven as well as added an additional lowslot.  Changes include small upgrades in the powergrid and cpu, minor additions to HP and capacitor, and a small reduction in mass.  It looks like the Ferox is to become a fast attack battlecruiser.  The biggest factor will be how well the Ferox can handle a full rack of blasters and along with the changes to its speed.

Brutix:
Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
5% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret damage
7.5% bonus to Armor Repairer effectiveness

Fixed Bonus:
99% reduction in the CPU need of Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 7 H, 4 M, 6 L (+1), 7 turrets
Fittings: 1200 PWG (+50), 435 CPU (+10)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 3500(-406) / 4500(+135) / 5000(+117)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 3000(+656.25) / 789s(+164s) / 3.8 (+0.05)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 155 / 0.704(+0.0352) / 12250000 (-1,000,000) / 8.1s (-0.2)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50 / 50
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 55km / 200 / 7
Sensor strength: 18 Magnetometric
Signature radius: 305 (+5)
Cargo capacity: 475 (+75)

The last ship is the Brutix, which is commonly found shield tanked these days in larger engagements, and dual repped or passively tanked for smaller ones.  It looks like someone understood this because the Brutix was given better fitting stats, an extra low, and a giant reduction in mass.  It also gained more capacitor and a higher recharge rate.  Really, aside from a reduction in shield HP, there really are now downsides to the new Brutix.  I still don’t think we’re going to see many active tanked versions on the field, but we are likely to see more of them fielded.

Oh, but then something gets said…

Notice, if you look in the comments, something that is said by Hans:

But Fozzie, 7.5% bonus to armor repair amount on both Gallente Battlecruisers?? But we all know how much active armor tanking sucks!! Whatever will you do about this dilemma…..

That definately wasn’t a mistake, so something is brewing with armor reppers, but after ten pages of comments CCP Fozzie hasn’t said a single thing on the issue.  Now how this plays out is going to be interesting because CCP has actively resisted the idea of making an armor repper similar to the Ancillary Shield Booster.. so either they changed their mind, or they have something new planned.  I’m kinda betting on the later because the responses from CCP seemed almost too sure, as if they already knew what they were going to do.

Overall Ship Changes

The Good – The Prophecy is the big winner I think, which is a good thing because it had been regulated to near uselessness.  The Brutix too got some nice improvements that will definately put it in the game again.

The “Maybe” – The Cyclone.  This could be a sleeper hit, so I will not make any judgements on it, but the additional low slot and CPU definately gives us some more bite.

The “Meh”/Not sure – Drake, Hurricane, Harbinger – All of these got some major changes added to them, but mostly reductions in capabilities.

The Bad – The Ferox might still be pigeon-holed, but hopefully the speed/agility/weapon changes will give it a place in PVP.  The Myrmidon, while improved, still doesn’t look like it could upend the Brutix in more common PVP situations.

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