Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Abandonment of Battlecruisers

We killed a Rorqual the other day. Wrong place. Wrong time. Wrong decision. And he died. It was my first Rorqual kill.

Kaeda was out in a Myrm doing Myrmidon things. He was eight or nine jumps away? Ten? The Rorqual was dead by the time he was two jumps out. Before the warp changes he would have made it to the kill.

While some would take this as a time to discuss the habit of pirate types killing unarmed ships and swarming to the kill like sharks to chum, I'm more interested in the changes. Kaeda (who is a frigate/cruiser pilot predominantly) said in disgust, "This is the last time I am roaming in a battlecruiser."

The slow warpspeed is terrible. I was in a Talos later that same evening. I killed stuff in it but I started to daydream as my ship warped. "I'll get there," I found myself thinking. "Lalala." It was funny because I had an adrenaline rush from planning to go out and fight. I was shivering so hard that I had to put my jacket on. But, the warp speed was so ungodly terrible that my attention drifted because I was waiting.

When I first moved into low sec I was directed to a battlecruiser. No time in frigates. Cruisers were a stepping stone. Low Sec and a large part of PvP was battlecruisers online. They were powerful, flexible, capable, and cheap enough to do what needed to be done. It was Hurricane and Drakes online and they were amazing. Everyone knew what everyone could fit and it was fleets of battlecruisers slamming into each other everywhere with the occasional battleship for support and damage and cruiser for heavy tackle. I learned to tackle from a hurricane.

The cruiser re-balance was amazing. And they made battlecruisers obsolete. They could take them on and they did. They were battlecruisers light and played and skilled properly they worked just as well. Even with the price increases they were still accessible. Eve is a game of great, finical leaps. From 500k for a frigate to 10 million for a cruiser to 40+ million for a battlecruiser to 150 million for a battleship.

Beyond those grand words come actual facts. Cruisers just preform better even though battlecruisers should on paper. And therefore we've taken to flying cruisers. Rubicon introduced a change in warp speeds and battlecruisers became slower than ever. They are just not appealing anymore. And, I don't think that is a bad thing. The most fustrating aspect is that battelcruisers except for the attack ones, do not fit their name any longer. That has been a sore spot with me for a while. The attack battlecruisers fit the definition of a battlecruiser properly while the combat ones are more heavy cruisers.

I think that the pyrmid shape of ships is good. However, I wonder if battlecruisers are a bit lost right now. Beyond the attack battlecruisers the old staples are just not what I see on the field these days. Sometimes they take them out and to good response. The rep Myrm, the tanked, webbbing Cane. I will not deny that viable fits exist and the Drake is still a PvE staple and I see them on the field. Maybe it is just what I do these days that a heavy assault cruiser makes more sense then a battlecruiser for viability on the field. The battlecruisers have their tricks but even those tricks are kind of sketchy in the days of warp speed changes.

Supposedly the metrics of use are fine. I know that I do not and cannot view the entire game all at once. I'm glad of that. Still, it is frustrating. I would like to know how they are really doing. I don't even own a Hurricane anymore (small lie. I have one that was part of a great battle I once wrote about. It has an old fit and is still in Klingt and shall never leave) and never are the fleet comps "lets go battlecruisers" unless they mean Talos/Tornado/Oracle.

I miss them. I don't know if they will ever come back in the force that they once were. But then, it seems that there is a focus on a pyramid with frigates at the bottom and Titans at the top and the nerf bat shall bap until that shape stays.

14 comments:

  1. 8 jumps :) And I'd started burning back when we still thought it was probably possed up. But I was all like; 'lets burn' and then my *unplated* myrm was all like; 'chill brah, no rush'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Best part of course was that an interceptor pilot was in Great Wildlands at the same time and managed to get there and whore.

      Delete
  2. Still pretty strong defensively I think.

    A cruiser doesn't have the tank or the deeps of a battlecruiser and if you're using logi bcs are much easier to keep up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is anninteresting point. We.do a lot of offensive work.

      Delete
    2. Another point in favour of bcs.

      I don't mind asking logi pilots to get into Guardians if the dps is in Prophecies but I'd feel a bit bad asking them to risk 200m ships if our dps were in 10m isk Thoraxes. Especially since there's a natural fit between T1 cruiser dps and T1 cruiser logi.

      However Guardians are much much better than T1 cruisers, With 10-15 man gangs it may be that the opponents can't break a Guardian where they'd certainly kill an Augoror.

      I also sympathise with Kaeda about the Talos. Solo talos used to be a glorious roaming vehicle.

      Delete
  3. I agree that CCP really needs to rename the non-attack battlecruisers to heavy cruiser. Let's put a bullet in this ages-old sci-fi screwed up uber ship misnaming one and for all :)

    I think Stabs has it right. Cruisers are fine for patrolling (i.e. roaming). The battlecruisers are there for the more deliberate assaults where you don't want/can't risk the battleships. Unless you have space assets, or are purposefully wanting to very much up the DPS, cruiser is probably the most common heavy ship I'd expect to see in lowsec.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Battlecruisers already had sketchy utility compared to cruisers before the warp speed change. Warp speed was the final nail in the coffin for some hulls, especially the Cyclone which made a niche of being (slightly) faster than an armor cruiser but with better EHP. I'm still going to fly battlecruiser because I'm very stubborn.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would be really curious to know how much roaming goes on with a command ship tagging along?

    Yeah, the Eos does warp 10% faster than a Myrm, but it is still painful.

    CCP has basically developed a 2 tier system for Eve. If you are in null sec, you use jump bridges for BS's, and jump drives for supercaps, and that are the only ships used (and of course, T3's with some groups). Anywhere else in the game, no one uses a BS or BC to go any serious distance for PvP, which means as you said, cruisers rule.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use a Claymore to support HACs. On a 10 jump best speed run it will always be at least three jumps behind by the time we hit dest.

      Delete
  6. Combat Battlecruisers don't seem to have much of a role anymore, outside of a few niche cases (think boot Prophecies and PvE Drakes). There's just nothing they can do these days that another class of hulls can't do better.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I could see a role for combat battlecruisers for "home defense fleets" by small industrialist corps, where you basically putter around only a single constellation (or even smaller space), making the warp speed changes less disrupting, while still keeping a good mix of damage and defense in an easy-to-learn package.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I do have to congratulate you on the way you guys baited me in. I was just going to collect my PI and got flattened. But, there were only two attackers, one in a cat, and I forget what the other guy was flying, so I reshipped, and killed the cat, but lost my second ship as well. Meh, I thought. No worries. Friendlies showed up and drove the other guy off, who left system with his buddy in a pod. I figured that would be the end of it, but I was all out of industrial ships. So, I figured, "I can run out there and get back before anyone comes back, right?"

    Well, no. No I couldn't. LOL

    Congrats on the kill.

    Slappy Andven

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You had a good attitude about it. I didn't want to say, "He was a good sport" as if you are somehow required to be like "Weee! Pirates tackled me and I am going to lose my ship what fun!"

      Altaen said that he saw the Rorqual on scan and told himself it was at a POS and decided to dscan as not to be lazy. We had just returned from some other stuff so we were scattered across several systems and on the way home which is what led to the slightly delayed response time as we burned to assist him.

      It was a mixture of chances as it often is.

      Delete
    2. I think most people are missing why battlecruisers aren't used as much anymore. Its not because they warp slower or other ships work better for roaming. It is because of game mechanic changes and cruiser lineup tiericide.

      The changes to the cruiser line up made it viable to actually use cruisers in low sec, Where before cruiser could never fight on a gate they changed gate gun mechanics allowing people to shed gate guns. where cruisers were not much faster then bc's they greatly increased their speed. They increased their base hp's . The whole line up was remade as being acceptable to the player base to use.

      The difference people are missing is that bc's aren't any less effective to use.The have better tanks, better dps, better range. The diffrence is cruiser became good enough. They are cheap enough. And they were a new thing for people to do rather then the same old hurricane/ drake gang. Cruisers became FOTM. And most all eve players are simple meta followers.

      If interceptor gangs become the next FOTM and everyone flys them all the time. People will complain that cruisers have no role in eve now.

      As far as the warp speed changes go they have increased peoples reluctance to fly battleships. ( and yes people like me did roam regularly in battleships) As a game play experience what used to take you 3 hours to roam around in a battleship now takes 4. It is a negative feedback loop. So fewer battleship gangs or soloists will roam. But is that the death of battleships I doubt it.

      I think that with the direction ccp is going, people are going to be surprised in 6 months at what types of gangs become the new meta. But it will be a sure thing that whatever becomes the new meta people will cry for what was the old meta.

      Delete