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I focus almost exclusively on PvP, whether solo, small gang, or large bloc warfare. In the past, I've been a miner, mission runner, and faction warfare jockey. I'm particularly interested in helping high-sec players get into 0.0 combat.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I “Confess” to Concern About Assault Frigs for “Svipul” Reasons

After flying the Confessor now for the better part of a month (enough time to train the skill to V) and playing around with the Svipul on Singularity, I feel pretty confident in saying that the tactical destroyers are flexible ships that, even with the same fit, can occupy a variety of roles, albeit not all at the same time.

I actually think the design of these “tdests” is well-balanced.  They’re worthy of the title of T3, but aren’t so overpowered that they make other ships obsolete.

Well, almost all ships.  Looking at the roles of various ship classes, I can see how the tdests can do about 80% to 90% of what they do, the specialists still come out ahead.  Interceptors are faster.  Interdictors can bubble.  Ewar frigs and Recons have great bonuses.  Most other cruisers have better tank.

But I’m having a hard time identifying a role for assault frigates now.  The Confessor and Svipul both are better tank, speed, dps, scan resolution, align time, and tracking than assault frigates, making me hard-pressed to think of a role for them.  Even in faction warfare, T3 destroyers can fit into small plexes just like assault frigates.

I’m not sure I’m missing something here.  In fact, the Confessor definitely can – and the Svipul should be able to – successfully kill a pair of assault frigates.  400 dps and 12-18k tanks vs. 200-250 dps and 6-8k tanks, with more speed for the tdests.

Is the introduction of tactical destroyers making assault frigates obsolete?

Before the introduction of the Confessor, if pressed to provide my favorite ships, a blaster, dual-ASB Harpy and a pair of Jaguars would have easily been in my top five ship classes for PvP.  But now, a Confessor alone would beat either of them, and the Svipul is shaping up to be the same.

But now, if I’m looking for a fast damage-dealer that can web or tracking disrupt, I’m choosing a Svipul, not a Jaguar.  If I need a ship that can do at least 300 dps and take some punishment, it’s not my Harpy anymore.

The Assault Frigate is dead, long live the Tactical Destroyer?

14 comments:

  1. but, but.... AFs are cheaper?

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    1. Always a concern in an age of easy isk, right?

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    2. Waiting for the slow increase in mineral cost...

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    3. Price as a balancing factor is a very bad idea - it's the first step towards pay to win.

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    4. 'First step towards pay to win' when links are in the game. lol

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    5. I'm a producer of thousands of confessors. The cost is about 27m/unit after all taxes and fees. Yep, they are still hugely profitable.
      They will likely settle in the mid-30s (long build time). Will 10m difference really make people use AFs which are so much worse? I Doubt it.

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    6. The difference between isk is between 10mill to 20mill. I'm talking about fitting a t3 dessie with T2 gear. Not those crazy fits that go up with 300mill with faction stuff.

      More 20mill for a ship that is far better than a AF. I would say that's pretty cheap.

      I used to be a fan of flying wolf. Basically, with a full set of slave etc.... Now with T3 minmatar dessie. I basically get the same tank without needing the expensive implants.

      They definitely need to update AF. At the moment, they don't have any role and worthless to fly.

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  2. Assault frigs will allow doctrine and fleet fitting better then T3 destroyers for all but the most disciplined of forces though. It's tough enough in some situations just to get line members to target the right thing and hit F1. Can you imagine a fleet of these all needing to be in the right mode, right position and right target? It would be hectic at best, probably leaving them to smaller gangs or wolf packs used to hunt down tackle or do what destroyers were made to do, kill frigates.

    That being said their inclusion into small complexes is something CCP has said they will be watching for this exact reason. I'm sure if they see it being an issue they will restrict them.

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    1. I hadn't considered their use in fleets. That's a pretty compelling point.

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  3. I still feel they should be excluded from small plexes.

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    1. CCP said they would continue to watch how much the Confessor and Svipul overwhelm small plexes. I'm sure that if it continues, we'll see the restrictions change.

      But if they do limit them to medium-and-above, doesn't that effectively cut them out entirely? Medium plexes are dead, because of the dscan immunity of recons (I know I avoid them now). I highly doubt folks will risk their D3s there.

      Does Faction Warfare simply miss out on D3s now?

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  4. Interesting article Tal. I have to admit I have not been roaming Black Rise lately so I haven't come up against a confessor lately, but I would love to skirmish against yours using my ASB hawk. I would expect the confessor to win, but I would still like to see just how close a fight it is.

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    1. Let's do i. We can add a third person, too, to see how the damage stacks against two AFs. Hawks are a good option for that, since they can project damage out to web range. Another ship like a Harpy or Jaguar wouldn't be a telling test because of kiting.

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    2. Well we proved there is at least one AF that can brawl with a confessor under the right circumstances. I believe just about any small ship is in trouble if they let a properly piloted Hawk get within scram/web range.

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