Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Tons of New PVP Options with the December Release

The Dec 8th release brings new ships, but also a host of small looking balance changes to ships and modules that open up some interesting new fits for solo PVP. I'm not going to talk about the new navy ewar frigates or command destroyers until I get more experience in both, and because I tend to avoid the flavor of the month ships (e.g., I only just started flying the worm last week). People who only fly the OP or FOTM ships won't be interested in anything that follows, except possibly unhappy at the first change.

In total, I have a good 20-30 ships/fittings I want to try even excluding the new ships. 

-Tech 3 Destroyers are now forbidden to enter Small Factional Warfare sites.

This change has a lot of potential for changing the meta in FW LS. Of course, the number one change I am eagerly awaiting is the removal of off-grid links that CCP has suggested is coming this winter. In my first 2 years as a solo PVPer, I flew almost exclusively in LS space. Not only was there a lot of solo activity there, but a diversity of ships being flown. The proliferation of link alts, the introduction of T3Ds, as well as simply having statistically OP ships for each plex (linked garmurs and the worm for novice plexes, T3Ds for smalls) has slowly pushed me--and other solo PVPers--into null. Removing T3Ds from small plexes is a step in the right direction toward revitalizing solo PVP in FW LS, although it is a sign that the ship class is completely out of balance--and the svipul in particular, a ship that since its introduction is involved in PVP kills almost 150% more than the next most popular ship, and usually over 200% more often than the third most popular.

Other similar changes many players have been asking for would likewise revitalize solo PVP in faction war space. Removing security status penalties for PVP into plexes would especially help newer players get into PVP. Adding another plex class under the current novice, where only T1 frigates would be allowed to enter, would also help new players find more even fights. Hopefully CCP is heading in this direction or somewhere similar.

-Breacher:-0.08 inertia, +5 m/s
-Tormentor: +10m3 Dronebay
-Tristan: -10 m/s, -100 Hull hitpoints

Neither of the first two changes affect current fittings on these ships, but they are small buffs to two of the most powerful tech 1 frigates currently, and my two favorites. I plan to fly a few of each just to revisit the ships. The tristan change might be a little too extreme--it didn't really need less hull, just less speed. However, it remains a powerful ship, but more even compared to the tech 1 playing field.

-Rifter: +5 CPU, +3 PWG, 
-Slasher: +5 CPU, +2 PWG

These two are actually big and do change current fitting options. I've not had much luck in the slasher, but I've had a lot of luck in the rifter over the past two years. People love to engage it, assuming it will be an easy kill, and as a result I've bagged over-confident garmurs, firetails, slicers, and interceptors. In the current risk-averse meta in EVE, looking like an easy target is more important to finding fights than anything else. However, both ships lack the dps and the tank to fully compete in the current small ship meta. The boost to power and cpu allows both ships to easily fit a nos or neut with 200mm autocannons, which both ships need in order to power an active tank or, more often, to fit the neut offensively. In the past both ships would have to downgrade guns or tank in order to use the utility high. I am looking forward to flying both ships in null, hunting interceptors in particular. I will try shield fits (MSE) for the speed and buffer but I will probably more often run an ancillary armor rep plus 200mm autocannons, web, scram, MWD, and small energy neut. Well-fit PVP maledictions and claws will likely win, but cap-hungry interceptors like the crusader will be easy targets in a 1-on-1.

-Punisher: +1 Turret, +1 Lowslot, +10 PWG, +13 CPU, Replaced the 5% damage bonus with -10% laser cap use per level

CCP does not seem to know what to do with the punisher, besides refusing to ever give it a third mid slot. This change opens up some weird fittings, none of which will likely be all that good in solo PVP but will be fun to fly. First, you can, of course, super-tank the ship and put beams on it so that you can project past scram range (or autocannons so that you cannot be neuted out). You can put two 400mm plates on the punisher and get more buffer than some cruisers, and you can probably get kills here and there from players forgetting that they can simply walk away from the punisher.

Two weird fits I am also looking forward to trying are a bit different. The first is to fly the punisher like a fat slicer, which the added low slot helps with. The problem with the fit is DPS and projection. You can use beams and project well into disruption range, but at sub-100 DPS; or you can use pulse lasers with scorch but struggle to project past 20km. The final fit involves beams with a 10mn AB, which puts you at over 2.4k m/s cold. It lacks the agility to effectively kite, but ships with over-sized afterburners are fun to fly primarily because of how hard they are to pin down and kill. They are less of a traditional kiting platform and more of a "run away while shooting" ship.

-Republic Fleet Firetail: Increased tracking bonus to 10% per level
-Caldari Navy Hookbill: Changed damage bonus to 25% Kin, 20% Em/Therm/Exp

Pretty simple changes that help both ships quite a bit. The comet is the undisputed OP ship in the line, and the slicer the undisputed king of scorch kiting at the moment and one of the funnest ships to fly again and again. The firetail's added tracking does not affect autocannon fits too much, but it does help arty fits which are particularly strong in FW space. The hookbill's change finally allows it to use something besides scourge missiles at a dps higher than the kestrel, which means its engagement profile expands quite a bit after the change.

-Osprey Navy Issue: -1 Launcher (second utility high), +100 pwg, +15 dronebay and bandwidth, Changed damage bonus to 25% Kinetic, 20% EM/Therm/Exp

It does somewhat suck that so much development time for this release went into into "small ships," with 3 new small ship lines. The Oni change is a nice break, though the last thing the "big ship" meta needs is yet another RLML kiting ship. But this change is nuts. Basically, anything will fit on the Oni now with RLMLs and, now, a full 5 light drones to help the damage. Ample fitting room and two utility high slots, in exchange for relatively low DPS and speed compared to similar types of ships.

RLMLs with two medium neuts? Easy fit, and with a small cap booster and the MWD off it is cap stable. Great for completely draining small targets that get into range, or engaging active tanked cruisers or BCs.

RLML dual prop? Check, just downgrade a medium neut to a small and it fits easily.

XLASB fit? Check, also easy to fit if you downgrade the neuts to smalls.

HAM fit brawler? Check, and surprisingly well-rounded:

100mn AB fit? Check. 2.7k m/s if you run a fed navy 100mn AB cold with no implants or links.

500mn ludicrous speed Oni? Sure why not! It's not even too terrible to try:

Add mid-grade snakes and links and you get 9k m/s cold, and with RLMLs which will apply to any target and past 60k. Silly, but fun to try for laughs.

-The brand new Expedition Frigate known as the Endurance has been released.

This one is even more for laughs. Since it can fit drones it is more viable for PVP than its counterpart, the Prospect. 120 DPS is easy to achieve with a decent tank and small neut, which is more than enough for killing interceptors that think you are an easy target. Also works well against covert ops ships or anti-covert ops rocket bombers, but will struggle to kill a PVP Astero. If the Astero lacks a small cap booster you have a shot at shutting down its tank, but its drone DPS will likely still make it a close fight.

-Frostline Sites

I had a lot of fun with the blood raider gauntlet event in October. It led to a nice pile of isk but also a lot of fun kills and strange fights everywhere from HS to LS and wormholes for me. This time around the event will be longer and there looks to be even better loot (this page on reddit has a list of available loot). Apparently, PLEX and multiple pilot training certificates have a chance of dropping. After 7 sites I've only gotten quafe and clothes. These sites will be a hotspot for finding PVP activity everywhere in space.

Besides the new ships added, did I miss any changes that make new fits or ships viable? 

No comments:

Post a Comment