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How Hot Will The Changes Be?

How Hot Will The Changes Be?

Alright, so CCP Rise has introduced today, July 18th 2013, the first of the Tech 2 rebalances.  The most obvious, and probably more difficult ships to rebalance is going to be the Heavy Assault Ships, or more commonly referred to as “HACs”.  Here is what has been released:

Amarr HACs

SACRILEGE – Highlights here would be the increased drone bay, increased PG, and the addition of HML to the Cruiser damage bonus. Hopefully the result is a ship that can more comfortably fulfill its heavy tackle/utility HAC role without sacrificing quite as much as it used to when compared to combat BCs or other HACs. We concede that the cap recharge bonus is a bit strange, but feel the ship actually doesn’t need another standard bonus like damage application or range to make it work.

  • Role Bonus: 50% reduction in MicroWarpdrive signature radius penalty
  • Amarr Cruiser Bonuses:
  • 5% to Heavy Assault and Heavy Missile damage (added heavy missiles)
  • 4% to all Armor Resistances
  • Heavy Assault Cruiser Bonuses:
  • 5% reduction of capacitor recharge time
  • 5% bonus to Missile Launcher rate of fire
  • Slot layout: 6H, 4M, 5L; 1 turrets(-3), 5 launchers
  • Fittings: 1150 PWG(+120), 400 CPU
  • Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 1400(+7) / 2100(+12) / 1690(+2)
  • Capacitor (amount) : 1650(+25)
  • Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 200(+2) / .567 / 11750000(-540000) / 9.24s(-.4)
  • Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50(+35) / 50(+35)
  • Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 55km / 312 / 7
  • Sensor strength: 15 Radar
  • Signature radius: 140

The Sacrilege was a ship that I have longed wanted to fly.  However, there hasn’t been much need to do so because the combination of Armor tanking and close range combat tend to be counter intuitive.  The role bonus that all the HACs now have, as well as the change in align time, mass reduction, and the recent addition of Armor Honeycombing might finally let people try the Sacrilege.

The Sacrilege still retains a utility high and you can expect 320+ DPS with its five turrets, and 125 more DPS with a set of light drones.  With a nice size drone bay it has, it gains some new options for attack and retreat.  The big downside?  Skills.  Amarr pilots aren’t typically going to be heavy missile users.. and with the push to use drones, that makes this ship something of a pariah.. a ship for those who have probably cross-trained Caldari ships.

ZEALOT – Zealot is arguably the most functional currently of the entire group and so it gets the least change.

  • Role Bonus: 50% reduction in MicroWarpdrive signature radius penalty
  • Amarr Cruiser Bonuses:
  • 10% bonus to Medium Energy Turret capacitor
  • 5% bonus to Medium Energy Turret rate of fire
  • Heavy Assault Cruiser Bonuses:
  • 10% bonus to Medium Energy Turret optimal range
  • 5% bonus to Medium Energy Turret damage
  • Slot layout: 5H, 3M, 7L; 5 turrets, 0 launchers
  • Fittings: 1180 PWG, 320 CPU
  • Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 980(-4) / 2250 / 1670(-18)
  • Capacitor (amount) : 1500
  • Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 210(+1) / .553 / 12580000 / 9.64s
  • Drones (bandwidth / bay): 0 / 0
  • Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 55km / 306 / 6
  • Sensor strength: 14 Radar(+1)
  • Signature radius: 125

Yeah, not much got changed with the Zealot.  The big problem is that with AHACs, typically they ran Afterburners, not MWDs.  With the addition of MWDs, the fittings become much more difficult to manage.  That being said, it still packs a punch.
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Caldari HACs

CERBERUS – Biggest change here is adding a 6th launcher. Also gets a huge maxVelocity boost so that it can actually kite some to take advantage of the great missile range.

Role Bonus: 50% reduction in MicroWarpdrive signature radius penalty

Caldari Cruiser Bonuses:
5% bonus to Kinetic Missile damage
10% bonus to Missile velocity

Heavy Assault Cruiser Bonuses:
10% bonus to Heavy Assault and Heavy Missile flight time
5% bonus to Missile Launcher rate of fire

Slot layout: 6H, 5M, 4L; 0 turrets, 6 launchers(+1)
Fittings: 720 PWG(+85), 500 CPU(+60)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 2000(-4) / 1200(+4) / 1400(-6)
Capacitor (amount) : 1100(+37.5)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 205(+30) / .463 / 12720000 / 8.17s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 15(+15) / 15(+15)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 80km / 282 / 6
Sensor strength: 17 Gravimetric(+1)
Signature radius: 135

Of all the new changes, the new Cerberus has gardnered the most attention.  With the addition of the Role bonus, added missile launcher hardpoint, and drones, this ship can be considered a Winner in this update.  Everyone seems to be pretty happy with the update in regards to these.
EAGLE – The Eagle will be a lot better because of the rail change alone, but we’ve also increased its power grid and replaced the utility high with an extra mid slot.

Role Bonus: 50% reduction in MicroWarpdrive signature radius penalty

Caldari Cruiser Bonuses:
10% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret optimal range
4% bonus to shield resistances

Heavy Assault Cruiser Bonuses:
10% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret optimal range
5% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret damage

Slot layout: 5H(-1), 6M(+1), 4L; 5 turrets, 1 launchers(-1)
Fittings: 950 PWG(+75), 430 CPU(-8)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 2500(+391) / 1250(-16) / 1550(+3)
Capacitor (amount) : 1350(-25)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 175(+11) / .576 / 11720000 / 9.36s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 0 / 0
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 70km / 252 / 8
Sensor strength: 18 Gravimetric
Signature radius: 150

The Eagle has long been considered the worst HAC, as it was designed to be the “Sniper” ship back when the only benefit Railguns had were their massive range.  Since the new HAC doctrine seem to throw out these comparasions, the Eagle now gets a nice midslot and some additional PG.  It will also benefit greatly with the medium railgun update which +15% Rate of Fire and +15% damage increase.  But the downside is the lack of utility high.  That is kind of a big deal.
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Gallente HACs

DEIMOS – Like the Thorax, Deimos now has 4 mids and gives up the extra high. It also goes faster and aligns faster.

Role Bonus: 50% reduction in MicroWarpdrive signature radius penalty

Gallente Cruiser Bonuses:
5% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret damage
5% increase to MicroWarpdrive capacitor bonus

Heavy Assault Cruiser Bonuses:
10% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret falloff
5% Medium Hybrid Turret damage

Slot layout: 5H(-1), 4M(+1), 6L; 5 turrets, 2 launchers
Fittings: 1030 PWG(+40), 350 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 1350(+190) / 1750(-290) / 2000(-531)
Capacitor (amount) : 1400(+25)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 220(+12) / .475(-.055) / 11460000 / 7.54s(-.875)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50 / 50
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 65km / 270 / 6
Sensor strength: 15 Magnetometric
Signature radius: 160

The legendary “Diemost” now gets some impressive maneuverability.  The extra midslot and boost to shields sort of makes me think that CCP might have this option available for most pilots.   The one thing I am sure about is the extra mid will definitely improve its E-war capabilities and cap charging capabilities.. which may have been what the “Diemost” needed all along…  I’ll have to try it out on mine.

ISHTAR – We are replacing the medium hybrid damage bonus with a drone bonus and removing one high slot to put its total 1 below the rest of the class, as is standard for drone-focused ships.

Role Bonus: 50% reduction in MicroWarpdrive signature radius penalty

Gallente Cruiser Bonuses:
10% bonus to drone tracking and optimal range(was 5% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret damage)
10% bonus to drone hitpoints and Damage

Heavy Assault Cruiser Bonuses:
5 km bonus to Drone operation range per level
50 m3 extra Drone Bay per level

Slot layout: 4H(-1), 5M, 5L; 4 turrets(+1), 0 launchers
Fittings: 700 PWG, 285 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 1400(-6) / 1600(-18) / 2300(+191)
Capacitor (amount) : 1300(+175)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 185(-6) / .52 / 11700000 / 8.43s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 125 / 125
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 60km / 294 / 7
Sensor strength: 16 Magnetometric
Signature radius: 145

The new Ishtar re-balance has not found very many friends, and shortly after it was released, the CSM and CCP Rise got into discussions.  Part of the problem appears to be that the Powergrid and CPU have not been increased despite the Faction Vexor and the Standard Vexor getting said updates previously.

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Minmatar HACs

VAGABOND – Like with the Stabber, we are rolling the max velocity bonus into the base stats, and then replacing it with a shield boost bonus. This has nice racial continuity and supports a play-style that has been emerging for the Vaga anyway as a close range active brawler. Please keep in mind that it can still be used exactly the same way that it always has been with virtually no change in performance.

Role Bonus: 50% reduction in MicroWarpdrive signature radius penalty

Minmatar Cruiser Bonuses:
5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret rate of fire
7.5% bonus to shield boost amount (was 5% bonus to max velocity)

Heavy Assault Cruiser Bonuses:
10% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret falloff
5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret damage

Slot layout: 6H, 4M, 5L; 5 turrets, 1 launchers(-1)
Fittings: 855 PWG, 395 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 1750(+97) / 1400(+63) / 980(-4)
Capacitor (amount) : 1060(-2.5)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 290(+51) / .504 / 11590000 / 8.1s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 25 / 25
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 50km / 330 / 6(+1)
Sensor strength: 14 Ladar
Signature radius: 115

Ah, the Vagabond.  There is technically no change to its capabilities, and it seems clear that CCP wants to try to keep active type tanks an option for players.  Of all the HACs, the Vagabond certainly is the best case for this option, and the way they have made the change doesn’t minimize its current abilities.. in fact, with the Role Bonus, I would say we could see more Vagabond fleets appearing the horizon.  I will look forward to that most assuredly.

MUNINN – The Muninn will lose one of its highs and gain a low, which should fit its role as a long range platform extremely well. It also gains a little speed.

Role Bonus: 50% reduction in MicroWarpdrive signature radius penalty

Minmatar Cruiser Bonuses:
5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret rate of fire
5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret damage

Heavy Assault Cruiser Bonuses:
10% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret optimal range
7.5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret tracking speed

Slot layout: 6H(-1), 3M, 6L(+1); 5 turrets, 1 launchers(-2)
Fittings: 1160 PWG, 355 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 1580(-2) / 2000(-4) / 1400(-6)
Capacitor (amount) : 1250
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 210(+14) / .571 / 11750000 / 9.3s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 25 / 25
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 55km / 294 / 6(+1)
Sensor strength: 14 Ladar(+1)
Signature radius: 130

This one I am kind of disappointed in.  But, it could be that with the Medium arty changes, which are fairly substantial (+10% ROF increase, -5% tracking) will make it certainly a ship to fear.  My biggest problem with the current Muninn is that it clearly is meant to be an armor tanker.  25% more armor with six low slots now (five previously).  However, it has Tech 2 shield resists.  You CAN get an okay shield tank out of the Muninn with just three mids… but it does hurt the long range capability of the ship.  I am really hoping they take a second look at this and then give it armor resists instead.

You can see the discussion about the HAC changes here, and the gun changes here.

In Conclusion:  I get a bit of this:

Huh?

Huh?

When I look at the changes done to the Ishtar, the Muninn, and somewhat to the Vagabond.

However, my thoughts change to this:

GIB ME MY PRETTIES!!!!

GIB ME MY PRETTIES!!!!  I WUV MY PRETTIES!!!

When I see the rest of the changes made.. especially for the Caldari who always seem to get the short end of the PVP stick.

Overall however, there is one thing that bothers me.  The price.  The price of a HAC hull is easily 150 million isk to 200 million isk.  For a ship that is just a little bit better than its Tech 1 version.  I can see that price for the Pirate Faction cruisers, but the price of making HACs needs to drop significantly before these changes are completed.

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