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Eve Online Winter Update Re-balances Several Ships

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Posted on September 12, 2012 AT 06:45am

Eve Online‘s winter update will re-balance 40 ships, according to developer CCP, with the aim being to make combat more competitive and fair.

The following ships will be changed after the patch:

Frigates

  • Remaining combat frigates: Kestrel, Tristan and Breacher. Previously expected to become missile ships, we decided to keep their role in the same category as the Tormentor, Punisher, Merlin, Incursus and Rifter for consistency and simplicity purposes. The Kestrel will now have a new long range bonus. The Tristan is being overhauled into a true drone boat, while the Breacher becomes a resilient close range missile platform thanks to its shield boost amount per level.
  • Exploration / scanning frigates: Magnate, Heron, Imicus, Probe. All of these ships are now properly focused by having mini-profession bonuses, increased probe scan strength and far better slot layouts in general.
  • Disruption frigates: Crucifier, Griffin, Maulus, Vigil. The Crucifier is now fully dedicated to tracking disruption. The Griffin bonus remains unchanged, but has a better slot layout. The Maulus loses the hybrid damage bonus and specializes in sensor dampening with drone support, while the Vigil will no longer have a speed bonus and will focus on target painting.
  • Support frigates: Inquisitor, Bantam, Navitas, Burst. A mix of formerly known missile and mining frigates that have been revamped to have logistics capabilities mounted on small, mobile hulls. Combined with a small remote armor repairer and shield transfer overhaul, it means new pilots or people interested in logistics support will now have a proper upgrade path all the way to the famously known Tech 2 logistic cruisers. Such a change will also dramatically shake up combat due to introducing repairing capabilities on small scale frigate fleets.
  • ORE frigate: Unable to mount Strip Miners, it will neither have the yield, ore hold or resilience of the Mining Barges. Instead, it will focus on mobility for ore retrieval in hostile space (read ninja mining), as well as acting as a stepping stone for new pilots. Keep an eye on “Features & Ideas” forums for more information on this hull. Please refer to one of our previous blogs to see concept art of it

Destroyers.

  • Existing destroyers: Coercer, Cormorant, Catalyst, Thrasher. Formerly known as Tier 1 destroyers, they are mainly in good shape since their first buff in Crucible. There are still a few points that need to be looked at before we can move on.
  • New destroyers: while the exact attributes are not ready for review so far we can explain their roles a bit more than in the previous blog. Main roles will focus on medium range damage projection through drones and missiles. Amarr and Gallente will most likely have fully bonused flights of light drones to play with while being supported by several turret slots. Caldari and Minmatar will boast high-slots fully loaded with missile launchers. Slot layout is expected to be 13 in total with overall speed reduced and signature radius increased compared to existing existing destroyer hulls. In all cases please remember this still is work in progress; a new “Features & Ideas” forum thread will be opened when more details are ready for public review.

Cruisers.

  • Due to the ship balancing team’s excellent work during the summer we are able to move ahead of schedule and revamp all Tech 1 cruisers for winter. Tech 1 cruisers have fallen out of favor over time as new ship classes, like the new battlecruisers, have come along and made their role less useful in many cases. As a general rule of thumb we would like to change layout to 13-14 slots on all cruisers, slightly increase EHP and significantly improve mobility to make them viable against battlecruisers. Exact attributes are to be unveiled at a later date.
  • Support cruisers: Augoror, Osprey, Exequror, Scythe. These almost extinct hulls will see a new purpose for being properly refurbished as Tech 1 logistic ships. With removing their current mining role, our goal is to make them useful enough to be actively picked in fleets when Tech 2 logistics are not available instead of having the FC sending you back to your momma.
  • Disruption cruisers: Arbitrator, Blackbird, Celestis, Bellicose. Our plan is to turn the Arbitrator and Bellicose into combat / EW hybrids (a bit like combat recons if you will), while the Blackbird and Celestis are more suited for fleet duty. The Arbitrator is quite good, but will receive a boost to be kept on par with the other revamped cruisers so it doesn’t become sad. The Blackbird is quite good so no major changes will happen here. The Celestis could use some real love due to the poor state of dampeners so expect the hybrid damage bonus to go away and we will expand on this in more detail in the future. The Bellicose will combine target painting with missiles on a mean, fast hull that will resemble the Caracal as an anti-frigate platform.
  • Attack cruisers: Omen, Caracal, Thorax, Stabber. We want to clearly revamp these four ships to be dedicated to speed and damage. The Omen must be one of the most frustrating ships to fit so we are going to look at it. Like CCP Guard, it should be a mean miniaturized version of the Armageddon, not a public target for bad-taste midget tossing jokes. The Caracal is also good, but again, could use a tweak in regards to fitting and mobility to make better use of its damage projection. The Thorax will be revamped to fit the attack class role which means making sure its mobile enough to punch your face at close range without wasting a ship bonus dedicated to Microwarpdrive capacitor usage. The Stabber will most likely have its speed bonus integrated into the hull to make room for something more dedicated to Minmatar combat doctrine – some of you will ponder, surely that must be a salvaging bonus?
  • Combat cruisers: Maller, Moa, Vexor, Rupture. Poor, sad Maller, your whole existence is a tragedy. Please let us put an end to this travesty by properly turning you into a mini-Abaddon, with an armor resistance and laser damage bonus to actually serve as something else than bait. The beautifully sleek shaped Moa has two options, just like the Merlin before it: either close range role with a shield resistance and hybrid turret damage combination, or sniping duty with hybrid turret damage and range synergy. Play testing and feedback will tell which one is picked. The Vexor is a good ship, and will receive some resilience boosts to fit into the new combat role. The Rupture, while staying a solid and versatile choice, could use more resilience and speed as well.
Matthew Bennett, Associate Editor
Matthew Bennett finally got his big break with EGM three years ago, following years of volunteer work for various sites. An ability to go many hours without sleep and a quick wit make him ideal for his role as associate editor at EGMNOW.com. He often thinks back to the days when the very idea of this career seemed like nothing but an impossible dream. Follow him on Twitter @mattyjb89. Meet the rest of the crew.

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