Friday, October 23, 2015

Capital Ship Rebalance Notes from Eve Keynote

I'm just about ready to take the weekend off to visit family back in Pittsburgh, but before I went, I wanted to share some news about the capital rebalance from Eve Vegas.  It looks like the Eve keynote contained some interesting tidbits, which will be expanded upon during the capital session tomorrow.  What we know right now, encapsulated in a Reddit post and subsequent YouTube video is:
  • New capitals that specialize in logistics, with limited combat capabilities,
  • Even titans will be able to dock in XL citadels.
  • Refitting mid-combat will not be possible while you have a weapons timer.
  • Supercarriers will lose their immunity to electronic warfare.
  • Special weapons, Sickle-class doomsdays, which will swath through space attacking all ships in a single vector.
  • Another doomsday, tentatively called the Hand of God, which can teleport ships away from the battle field into a random spot in the same solar system; it simultaneously warp disrupts capitals.
  • All capitals will receive fleet hangars and fitting services.
  • Titans will be getting more variety of abilities.
  • All sorts of new capital-sized modules, including shield extenders, armor plates, neuts ranging from T1, to meta, to faction, to T2 varieties.
  • Additional weapon modules that specifically target subcaps, called the high angle weapon batteries (better tracking than typical capital modules).
  • Existing capital weapons will be rebalanced to be useless against subcaps.
  • Capital remote repairs will only be effective when they're in triage.
  • Fighters are going to be replaced with squadrons, which will be unable to be repaired (because they're squadrons of ships, hp is measured in remaining members; "you can't rep what's dead").
Here's what we can assume:
  • Dreads will experience the least changes; they are characterized as having traditional weapon systems, as they do now.
  • Carriers may lose their remote rep bonuses, and could double-down on the fighter bonus.  The new logistics capitals mean they'll likely lose much, if not all, of their logistics capabilities.
  • We'll each have a new capital skill to train for each race (taken with the skill sink being introduced, means CCP's following a hybrid "train more" and "sink sp" approach).
So let's get into the analysis of what are, admittedly, sparse details.  But the details CCP has provided are enough to be tantalizing.

While I'm not going to be selling any assets or hedging any bets until the capital speech, some of these changes are well overdue, and great changes.  Carriers being both fighter boats and logistics in one left them heavily overpowered, and the idea that these two strengths will be separated is tremendous.  Now, CCP just needs to add an SMA-heavy capital with no offensive capability at all to be a space taxi (I'm talking 5 million m3 space baby!).

Likewise, refitting mid-fight took a lot of the risk out of flying capitals.  Limiting this ability so that once you commit, you're locked in for the same length of time as aggro on a gate... under those circumstances, a minute is a lifetime.  Firing choices have consequences now.  When you engage an enemy fleet, you've got what you've got, and have to live with your choices, just like every other pilot in space.

And, finally, supercarriers - in fact all ships - losing ewar immunity...  IT'S ABOUT TIME!  Fighting supers required a single ship type in all cases - hictors - and that struck me as very much being against Eve's mantra of offering pilots choices.  Ever since I heard about that ability, I thought to myself, "That's stupid."  They already had the ability to fly a whole mess of fighters, and had all sorts of interesting bonuses and huge swaths of hp.  Ewar immunity was just too much.

I'm eagerly anticipating news of tomorrow's speech, even though I'll be reading for it on my phone. I'm liking the variety of gameplay options these changes suggest.  I can see the evidence of a lot of different thought tracks leading to this.  From what I've seen, CCP is concerned about giving each capital a good role, new abilities, and new vulnerabilities to offset them.

Things are looking very good for capitals, based on these initial plans!


  1. Since the ability for it exists, it would be nice if there were circumstances where ewar immunity existed, and others where it did not. The ability to shape the battlefield is what gives systems a sense of being somewhere, or even part of a contested front.

    I'm picturing a structure which requires a certain level of sov to deploy. It either enables or disables ewar immunity as a defensive function systemwide, giving a home field advantage. This would encourage campaigners to wear down a faction rather than just go strait for the headshot.

  2. How long exactly do you think a weapons timer is again?

    1. Long enough that, if you get primaried, you'll have taken a significant amount of damage (or been destroyed already) before you have a chance to refit from offensive to defensive.

      Similarly, long enough so that Titans and Supercarriers can't reasonably refit for whatever type of HP they're currently in without making fairly significant sacrifices (meaning they aren't putting any damage out).

    2. It'd also be especially silly with rhe new capital plates. 'Oh, I'm out of shield, I'll fit plates, oh, now strucrure, time for bullheads.

    3. Yeah, i misinterpreted that. 1 minute, not 15 minutes. Thanks for the catch.

  3. I quite like the idea of squadrons over fighters. It's a better fit with Valkyrie.