Sunday, February 7, 2016

Death by a Thousand Cuts

It is with great interest I read of a proposed new module for Captains of Battleships and Capital Ships to help them deal with a variety of situations that would normally render them helpless to a mosquito fleet. The Heavy Stasis Grappler will, in its Tech II variant, have an 85% velocity reduction on the targeted ship, the only downside being its limited range of just one kilometre and a fall off, with reduced effectiveness, out to ten kilometres. Interestingly, overheating will increase the optimal to four kilometres, so make sure you have your Thermodynamics skills trained up.

This proposed new module will be unaffected by Stasis Webifier bonuses as you see on the Vindicator & Bhaalgorn but regardless, it opens up some interesting scenarios, especially in Wormhole space.

Consider the frigate wormhole and the now very effective doctrines many Wormhole groups use to take advantage of them. Combat HICs, Bomber wings, T3 Destroyer gangs and T2 Logistics frigates can, with only a handful of pilots, bring down a pair of Battleships without too much trouble. Even a Marauder can't deal with a small group of frigates and when you consider it's a 2 Billion ISK ship compared to about 200 Million ISK worth of ships, that's a little imbalanced. I do like CCPs thinking here; they can't give Battleship sized weapons uber tracking without turning EVE into Battleships Online and they certainly have to address the issue that basically any buffer fit Battleship can be subjected to death by a thousand cuts by a well fit Frigate. It must be tempting to give Battleships secondary weapons to deal with the tiny menace, indeed it's what I thought Battleships in EVE Online would be when I started out, but I understand that for the sake of balance that isn't an option. The Stasis Grappler changes everything without affecting balance in a negative way as far as I can tell.

Take for example a standard buffer fit, Mega Pulse Laser Abaddon pitched in a duel against a Condor with rockets. The Abaddon is going to cost you around 400 Million ISK fitted, the Condor, maybe 20 Million ISK. All the Condor has to do is a little drone control and the fight is effectively over. That Abaddon will die a slow, horrible death, blasting lasers into space with futility as the Condor slowly chips away at its armour whilst taking advantage of the poor tracking of the Abaddon's lasers. Now throw the Stasis Grappler into the equation. The Condor, needing to be close to its target for its rockets to land, is reduced to 85% of its velocity and is now in serious danger from the primary weapons of the Abaddon, not to mention much easier fodder for his drones. Throw on another conventional Stasis Webifier and you will bring the Condor almost to a stop and certainly to its death. At long last, the Battleship will again be capable of engaging all targets effectively.

This may well have dire consequences for the Astero, the light tackle/scouting ship of choice for most W-Space dwellers. I've lost my fair share of Asteros tackling everything from Marauders to Rattlesnakes, but I've always lasted long enough for the fleet to land and finish the job. That may not be so certain now; with primary weapons coming to bear on my heavily webbed down Astero there's every chance the target would escape before the fleet even lands. But I'm fine with that, reward without risk is dull.

In all of this I've failed to address how this might effect Capital ships, if at all. I really can't think of a situation where I'd like to have one on a carrier, it seems almost redundant. Dreadnaughts however, post some interesting options. I lost a Moros once upon a time and in that situation, this module would have been a Bob send. From close range, after having destroyed a Chimera and a few sub caps, I was pinned down by a gang of Command Ships, eventually neuting my tank off with an Armageddon and grinding me down with the dozen or so Battlecruisers. I was lucky enough to alpha one Command ship off the field who was careless enough to not be orbiting, but the rest I was unable to track, even with dual scripted tracking computers. Add the Stasis Grappler to the mix and suddenly there's an Armageddon down, capacitor restored and a gang of Command Ships trying to get the fuck out of dodge. Oh, that which might have been...

That is highly situational, however. You'd be best served just carrying one in your cargo hold and fitting off a depot or carrier should the need arise. Oh, wait... you can't do that any more. Nevermind :S


  1. I don't see anything wrong with 2bil being killed by 200mil. That's the whole point of being under the guns. Problem I have that BS rarely have their uses now. They are bloody slow to move, slow to warp. Damage output is similar to that of a kiting cruiser and tank advantage is neglected by it's sig size. You can't use them against smaller ships (wont hit anything) and you cant use against bigger (will die from a volley from a dread). Apart from some Niche battleships like Bhaalgorns or Machariels, I don't see any use for them anymore. With so many small ships introduced anything bigger than cruiser went obsolete.

  2. No, there's nothing wrong with it. I did say it's "a little imbalanced", after all. What I'm alluding to is the fact that it's downright easy for the mosquito fleet. There's virtually zero danger posed by a Battleship, it's a seal just waiting to be clubbed.

    This module will potentially bring back many Battleships from the brink of obsolescence.

  3. " You'd be best served just carrying one in your cargo hold and fitting off a depot or carrier should the need arise. Oh, wait... you can't do that any more. Nevermind :S "

    You can as long as you refit before you engage. My understanding is so long as you don't have an aggression timer, you can refit. But once you comit to the fight, you've sealed the deal!

    1. Exactly. You have to commit a mid slot to the module on the off chance you get pinned down by sub caps. Chances are you won't need it, but can you really afford to take that chance?

    2. Did they change that you can't refit with aggression timer? I heard talks but haven't seen the patch note. can you redirect me to one?

    3. No link for you, but yeah, it's coming. You won't be able to refit from carriers, depots, Orcas or Nestors with an aggression timer. I honestly can't decide if it's good or it's shit, but the days of worrying about Rattlesnakes refitting to Warp Core Stabs after you tackle them are going to be behind you soon.


Keep it civil!