The Ships and Modules session at EVE Vegas was dominated by a look at the last year’s ship & module changes, including the shift from Warfare Links to Command Bursts, the Mining Foreman ship re-balance (with it’s buffing and subsequent series of nerfs to the Rorqual), the fitting simulation feature, the new CONCORD limited edition ships, the defender missile rework, Blood Raider Capitals, and the Strategic Cruiser overhaul. All in all, it’s been a very busy year for ships and modules changes.
CCP Fozzie and CCP Rise reiterated that the ships and modules team remains focused on making fast-paced tweaks to keep the meta fresh and that they are starting to be able to move on from reactionary changes to focusing on new things – the introduction of new ship classes and new behaviors and mechanics.
The upcoming ship balance pass due in Lifeblood was discussed, which heavily focuses on the ships that Alpha clones can currently fly. The backend work for the “Community Fittings” feature suggested at EVE Vegas last year has been finished, and we can look forward to a dev blog on that and the opening of submissions in the near future. We also have the new Guristas Capital Shipyards to look forward to, with the Loggerhead Force Auxiliary, Caiman Dreadnought, and Komodo Titan, which we covered in the article on the new PVE content.
The next balance pass is currently focused on Heavy Assault Cruisers and Assault Frigates. Few details were revealed, but it was noted that they want to reinforce the themes of tough, resilient, fleet-oriented ships, make the classes more distinct, and address some major weaknesses such as the speed of Assault Frigates. A new module exclusive to these classes was revealed, the Assault Damage Control. This is a low slot module, with passive resistance bonuses, and it can be activated for a 20-second burst of significantly higher resistances, after which it will have a reactivation delay of a little over 2 minutes.
Beyond the HAC/AF rebalance, and plans are much less concrete, but a quality of life pass on Battleships is high on the radar, along with possible tuning of Attack Battlecruisers and Pirate Faction ships. Further down the line becomes increasingly hazy, but the long list of things to consider includes new pirate implants, the resumption of weapon tiericide efforts (and possible Tech 2 ammunition in Faction Weapon modules), a re-balance and introduction of stacking penalties for shield and capacitor regeneration modules, and the divisive “anti-headshotting” ship for FCs.
CCP is considering introducing monthly ship and module usage & damage reports to accompany the monthly economic reports, and is soliciting feedback as to whether the community wants this feature, and if so, what data to include.
After showing graphs of damage by weapon system from July to September, the session moved on to Q&A. There will also be a more in-depth discussion of ships and modules at the roundtable tomorrow, at 1700 UTC.
Some highlights from the Q&A session:
- The Rapid Light Missile Launcher balance pass was shelved due to player feedback and higher priorities in the Lifeblood Expansion. The meta has shifted already since that re-balance was originally proposed, alleviating a lot of the original concerns, so while this is still on the radar, it doesn’t seem to be as much of a priority.
- There was a question of what determines the baseline for balance passes, and whether or not there is an “anchor” point for the balancing process. CCP Fozzie indicated that rather than having a fixed baseline, they chose a ship within a class to act as a baseline for the balancing of that class for each pass. CCP Rise added that there are too many different contexts and variable for a fixed baseline to be viable and that it would be an uncomfortable constraint on designers.
- There were also questions about plans to look at battleship warp speed during their balance pass. CCP Fozzie indicated that they are extremely cautious of both speed inflation and of crunching the ship speeds too closely together, but that they will look over it during the balance pass. Changes to Hyperspatial modules & rigs seem more likely than changes to base warp speed.
- The question of more Area of Effect damage sources was brought up, and both CCP Fozzie and CCP Rise said that they are interested in introducing more of these to the game. Some things that have been considered are bomb volleys and directional weapons with a beam effect, but performance is a limiting factor for both AoE and projectiles.