Friday, September 14, 2012

Ship Balancing in the Winter Expansion

CCP has recently released a dev blog highlighting the ship changes they're planning for the winter expansion. You can read the dev blog here. I am very curious to see how this all plays out. Here are a few highlights.


The remaining frigates will be balanced, including the combat frigates, exploration/scanning frigates, disruption frigates, and support frigates. There will also be a new ORE mining frigate; you can see the concept art here. I really like that the exploration frigates will now get bonuses to salvager, analyzer, and codebreaker times. 


New destroyers! Although CCP isn't giving out any details yet, there are new destroyers on the horizon. How far away that horizon is is anyone's guess. CCP is giving some love the the Coercer, the Amarr destroyer which has suffered from only having one midslot, which makes it pretty much useless for anything. The Coercer will now have 2 midslots. Also, the proposed changes will make it easier to fit medium pulse and beam lasers on destroyers, as well as improvement to damage and explosion radius for light missiles. You can read about the proposed destroyer changes here.


Changes to EVE's cruisers are also planned for the winter expansion. The highlight here for me is the Maller is getting some much-needed attention. CCP hopes to turn it into a "mini Abaddon" with bonuses to laser damage as well as armor resists. The Omen will hopefully be upgraded to serve as a "mini Armageddon", making it easier to fit. 


Although none of the proposed changes are set in stone, I am cautiously optimistic about them. I'm glad to see some of the more problematic ships in the Amarr line (Coercer, Omen, Maller) getting adjusted to something more viable. CCP is on the right track with their new concept of roles for ships. Hopefully, instead of a bunch of mediocre ships no one flies and a handful of effective ships everyone flies, we will see more ship types being used in the future. In the real world, no one would ever spend the time and resources to design and build something as expensive as a starship without a clear function or role in mind for that ship. It also wouldn't make sense to undertake such a venture if the end product was going to be inferior to something else already available or planned. I really don't know where CCP was coming from when they originally designed some of the ships, but I think they have the right idea with this new direction.

However, my optimism is CAUTIOUS, because I've learned that when it comes to EVE, the proof is definitely in the pudding. Dev blogs are nice and all, and the proposed changes look alright on paper, but it will be impossible to truly evaluate them until they're implemented. 

Fly smart.