CCP is planning to release missile disruptors in December. According to CCP Fozzie, the new modules will be grouped in with the existing tracking disruptors. Quoting from the post:
- These disruptors would be separate modules within the same group as Tracking Disruptors.
- They will use the same skills and get the same bonuses as Tracking Disurptors (so for example a Pilgrim would automatically get bonuses for these modules).
- Pilots will be able to choose what combo of missile and tracking disruptors to fit on their ships, based on what they expect to face.
- We’re planning on introducing T1, T2 and named versions with faction options being considered.
- At the same time, we’re planning on making a slight buff pass on the Missile Guidance modules that were introduced in Aegis. Their range bonuses don’t need any more improvements, but we are currently planning on buffing their explosion radius and explosion velocity bonuses by ~10%.
- The current stats, which are still up for discussion, are listed in the table below.
The wider implications for the metagame, particularly for smaller engagements, are fairly far-reaching. Currently, if a pilot chooses to use missiles over turrets, they are trading the turrets higher theoretical damage for the better damage application of missiles. Turrets can miss or be heavily degraded by transversal velocity, range, and last but not least, tracking disruptors. Through the use of tracking disruptors for either range reduction or tracking reduction, a ship fitting turrets can, in some conditions, be rendered unable to engage a target it might otherwise be able to damage effectively. For both the target and the shooter, the damage dealt by turrets can be heavily impacted by a skilled manual pilot.
Conversely, missiles always deal damage to any target in range based on its speed and signature radius. The only practical on-grid modifier for missile damage is velocity; with faster always meaning less damage (balanced by the signature bloom caused by microwarpdrives). In most situations, a ship targeted by missiles either has to take the damage or get off grid; there is nothing clever the pilot can do to reduce the incoming DPS beyond setting full speed ahead. Light missiles will effectively damage all but the very fastest ships in the game, and can be fired from cruisers with full bonuses via Rapid Light Missile Launchers (RLMLs). This renders the “speed tank” that many assault frigates and other small fast ships might otherwise use nonviable.
The new modules will allow speedy ships the possibility of mitigating missile damage to a much greater degree. The author performed some very rough EFT math using Talwars as attackers and an afterburner Vengeance as a target. A max skilled character fitting a DPS reduction script to a missile disruptor on an un-bonused hull reduced incoming missile damage approximately one third. It will soon be within the realm of possibility that the dreaded RLML Caracal could, through the use of multiple missile disruption frigates, be reduced to a mere RLMLOL Caracal.
Once the new disruptors hit Tranquility, hotshot pilots will have new options open for dealing with missile ships. While a frigate renaissance is probably not in the cards, at least one more thing in Eve that used to be frustratingly un-counterable will be subject to disruption.