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blankseplocked Combat Recons vs Force Recons: rebalance ideas.
 
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Scatim Helicon
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
Posted - 2010.12.18 13:50:00 - [1]
 

For the most part, the Combat Recon line suffers from a jumble of ill-matched bonuses and slot layouts which make them inferior to the covert-ops cloaking Force Recon. The Rook, Lachesis and Huginn do get damage bonuses in place of cloak fitting bonuses, but these do little to compensate for the loss of versatility granted by a covops cloak, and in all but the gimmickiest fits can only provide mediocre DPS anyway. The Lachesis and Huginn are further encumbered by a split in their damage bonuses and hardpoints which makes taking full advantage of the extra potential DPS awkward.

In almost all circumstances, a player wishing to fly a T2 cruiser would be better advised to jump into a HAC if he wanted to shoot things, or a Force Recon if he wished to supply ewar support, with the covops cloak providing useful flexibility to scout, escape, ambush, and position. The Combat Recons in their current form fall between the two options and ultimately satisfy neither.

Its not surprising to see that most Force Recons are much more widely used than their Combat Recon equivalent. A quick look at the sales volume figures for the Jita market confirms this - for 3 out of the 4 races, Force Recons sell at twice the rate of their Combat Recon cousin, despite the higher price tag. The exception comes with the Amarr Recons, as the Curse and Pilgrim seem equally attractive options - both sell similar daily volumes in Jita. The Curse is also the only Combat Recon which can outperform its Force Recon cousin in purely e-war (in this case, cap-war) terms, as the Curse receives a substantial range bonus to its neutralisers and energy vampires. It seems likely that these two factors are related, as it means Amarr Recon pilots have a genuine choice to make with pros and cons on either side, whilst for the other three races the Force Recon clearly appears to be a superior option.

Its worth pointing out that the Curse has little practical DPS advantage over the Pilgrim - both receive identical drone damage bonuses, and while in theory a Curse could be fitted for extra damage due to its extra highslot and hardpoints, in practise the highslots tend to be taken up with cap-war modules. The only 'popular' combat recon is the one that does no additional DPS, which suggests that Recon pilots do not want or need damage bonuses on their hulls and would prefer e-war bonuses because their designated role is one of support.

So, in order to make the Combat Recon class more viable, I suggest CCP should take their cue from the successful Curse vs Pilgrim balance and apply this to the other races:

- add secondary e-war bonuses:
- remove damage bonuses

In addition, some tweaking of slot and/or hardpoint layouts may be beneficial.

Note: I have not attempted to revise racial e-war itself at this stage. Yes, its commonly acknowledged that ECM is vastly more useful than the other types, but that issue is for another thread, at this stage I'm purely looking at the hulls themselves.

CHANGES:

Curse:
Unchanged.

Huginn:
Remove 5% Missile Launcher Rate of Fire bonus, replace with 5% Stasis Webifier Velocity Reduction factor.
-1 highslot, +1 lowslot.
-1 missile hardpoint, +1 turret hardpoint.

Lachesis:
Remove 5% Missile Launcher Rate of Fire bonus, replace with 10% Remote Sensor Dampener Optimal Range bonus.
Upgrade Warp Disruptor Range bonus from 20% to 25%.
-1 midslot, -1 highslot, +2 lowslots. (why on earth is the gallente recon currently pushed into a shield-tank role?)

Rook:
Remove 10% Missile Velocity Bonus, replace with 10% ECM Target Jammer Optimal Range bonus (for anyone worried about the bad old days of ECM, this still leaves the Rook with the same optimal as a Blackbird, and less falloff, and without the 'surprise decloaking 200km falcon' factor which was the source of most anguish pre-nerf)
-1 Highslot, +1 Lowslot.

Comments, criticisms, further suggestions and bad trolling all welcome.

Gypsio III
Dirty Filthy Perverts
Posted - 2010.12.18 17:37:00 - [2]
 

Edited by: Gypsio III on 18/12/2010 17:38:57
Originally by: Scatim Helicon

Rook:
Remove 10% Missile Velocity Bonus, replace with 10% ECM Target Jammer Optimal Range bonus (for anyone worried about the bad old days of ECM, this still leaves the Rook with the same optimal as a Blackbird, and less falloff, and without the 'surprise decloaking 200km falcon' factor which was the source of most anguish pre-nerf)
-1 Highslot, +1 Lowslot.


This is a terrible idea. The Rook's DPS is the reason to fly it over the Falcon - it can get 400 DPS without much trouble, and apply 300 DPS and jam effectively at 100 km. With your changes, we would have something that still jammed at range, but with no DPS. It would be a Falcon without a cloak. That's along side "bathing in lava" as a bad idea.

Gemberslaafje
Vivicide
Posted - 2010.12.18 19:20:00 - [3]
 

Edited by: Gemberslaafje on 18/12/2010 19:23:06
If nothing else I think you're onto something, but I'm not entirely sure if your solutions would be the best... TBH I'd wished we could plug in these kinds of alternate things into SiSi and just test it out, but yeah :P

So a +1 for the good post, but I'm not +1ing the idea for the simple fact that i'd like to test it before saying if it's good or not.

EDIT: Another +1 because I just noticed you're from Goons - I didn't expect such a good post from such an alliance.

IcanhasyouStuff
Minmatar
Posted - 2010.12.18 19:57:00 - [4]
 

Quote:

Huginn:
Remove 5% Missile Launcher Rate of Fire bonus, replace with 5% Stasis Webifier Velocity Reduction factor.
-1 highslot, +1 lowslot.
-1 missile hardpoint, +1 turret hardpoint.


No thank you. It needs more dps, not less. +1 missile hardpoint and -1 turret hardpoint and +1 low would be realllyyy nice.

Hirana Yoshida
Behavioral Affront
Posted - 2010.12.18 20:08:00 - [5]
 

You want the Combat Recons to be more like the Force Recons?

WHY? Answer this first if you please.

- Curse is awesome against 1 perhaps 2 targets, more than that and it crumbles. Hell an injected BC will mess it up hard when flown right.
- Rook if bloody nasty. Come back and say you want to change it when you have had your teeth kicked in by one, strongest one of the lot.
- Lachesis is a strange one. Hopefully when hybrids gets their overhaul it can get guns instead of missiles. Team up with a Loki and watch the hate-mail blink incessantly in the inbox.
- Huginn is still considered "gimped" because people refuse to listen. No you cannot have tank + ewar + damage all at once, choose two and sacrifice the third.
We have thankfully put the god-webs behind us, lets not reintroduce it, especially not on a freely available hull. -missile, +gun is fair enough though.
PS: Bonused TP's in a gang is severely underestimated.

By the way, don't you think that the reason for higher Force sales might also be attributed to the full 5 minutes you 'save' when popping cynos? I know thats why I have mine.

Scatim Helicon
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
Posted - 2010.12.18 23:15:00 - [6]
 

Originally by: Gypsio III
Edited by: Gypsio III on 18/12/2010 17:38:57
Originally by: Scatim Helicon

Rook:
Remove 10% Missile Velocity Bonus, replace with 10% ECM Target Jammer Optimal Range bonus (for anyone worried about the bad old days of ECM, this still leaves the Rook with the same optimal as a Blackbird, and less falloff, and without the 'surprise decloaking 200km falcon' factor which was the source of most anguish pre-nerf)
-1 Highslot, +1 Lowslot.


This is a terrible idea. The Rook's DPS is the reason to fly it over the Falcon

Looking at the numbers that are flown and the volumes traded in Jita compared to the Falcon, obviously that reason isn't good enough!

If, on the other hand, the Rook was better as a pure e-war platform than the Falcon, with the compromise that it lost the versatility of the covops cloak, Recon pilots who want to actually fly a jamming ship might have a reason to choose between the two? In the same way as there's a valid e-war reason to take a curse rather than a pilgrim because of the neut range bonus (and hence, as I mentioned in my original post, there are more Curses seen on the battlefield and the two Amarr Recons sell in similar numbers in Jita).

Scatim Helicon
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
Posted - 2010.12.19 00:16:00 - [7]
 

Originally by: IcanhasyouStuff
Quote:

Huginn:
Remove 5% Missile Launcher Rate of Fire bonus, replace with 5% Stasis Webifier Velocity Reduction factor.
-1 highslot, +1 lowslot.
-1 missile hardpoint, +1 turret hardpoint.


No thank you. It needs more dps, not less. +1 missile hardpoint and -1 turret hardpoint and +1 low would be realllyyy nice.


Again, my intent is to make Combat Recons better e-war support platforms, not necessarily better gankmobiles - if you just want to apply massive DPS to your target from a T2 Minmatar cruiser, why are you in a Huginn and not a Muninn? Plus, out on the battlefield the web velocity bonus would frequently make for better effective DPS even if the EFT numbers are smaller, because slower moving targets are easier to hit and less able to burn back to a gate or out of range (and the improved webs mean that your whole gang is benefiting from this fact, not just the Huginn pilot as would be the case with the existing RoF bonus).

I've no problem with switching my initial suggestion to a missile emphasis rather than turrets as you suggest, if that really makes a big difference (although a missile boat just doesn't feel the same for Minmatar somehow), but I definitely want to get away from the split weapon systems headache one way or the other.

IcanhasyouStuff
Minmatar
Posted - 2010.12.19 00:43:00 - [8]
 

Originally by: Scatim Helicon
Originally by: IcanhasyouStuff
Quote:

Huginn:
Remove 5% Missile Launcher Rate of Fire bonus, replace with 5% Stasis Webifier Velocity Reduction factor.
-1 highslot, +1 lowslot.
-1 missile hardpoint, +1 turret hardpoint.


No thank you. It needs more dps, not less. +1 missile hardpoint and -1 turret hardpoint and +1 low would be realllyyy nice.


Again, my intent is to make Combat Recons better e-war support platforms, not necessarily better gankmobiles - if you just want to apply massive DPS to your target from a T2 Minmatar cruiser, why are you in a Huginn and not a Muninn? Plus, out on the battlefield the web velocity bonus would frequently make for better effective DPS even if the EFT numbers are smaller, because slower moving targets are easier to hit and less able to burn back to a gate or out of range (and the improved webs mean that your whole gang is benefiting from this fact, not just the Huginn pilot as would be the case with the existing RoF bonus).

I've no problem with switching my initial suggestion to a missile emphasis rather than turrets as you suggest, if that really makes a big difference (although a missile boat just doesn't feel the same for Minmatar somehow), but I definitely want to get away from the split weapon systems headache one way or the other.

Think of combat recons more like solo boats and less like gang boats. Your gang already benefits from you being able to web from 34km+ away. They also benefit from you being able to apply some decent dps. IMHO they could use a dps boost and that is it.

Scatim Helicon
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
Posted - 2010.12.19 01:16:00 - [9]
 

Originally by: Hirana Yoshida
You want the Combat Recons to be more like the Force Recons?

WHY? Answer this first if you please.

Improving their e-war abilities would be making the Combat Recons less like the Force Recons, surely? As things are both sets of ships get identical e-war bonuses, with the Combat Recons then receiving damage bonuses to cover for their lack of cloak-bonus. Combat Recons being gankier non-cloaking Force Recons as they are now isn't particularly appealing, I'd find it much better to have them as viable options as e-war platforms when put next to the Force Recon equivalent, and for Gallente, Minmatar, and Caldari Recon pilots to actually have to stop and think for more than 2 seconds when deciding which ship they want to buy/fit/undock. As it is, there's little reason to bother with any of the Combat Recons (Curse aside) if you have a Force Recon, unless you're a particular fan of their colour scheme, and the sales in Jita reflect that fact.

Quote:
- Huginn is still considered "gimped" because people refuse to listen. No you cannot have tank + ewar + damage all at once, choose two and sacrifice the third.
We have thankfully put the god-webs behind us, lets not reintroduce it, especially not on a freely available hull. -missile, +gun is fair enough though.
PS: Bonused TP's in a gang is severely underestimated.

A 5% web velocity factor bonus boosts a T2 Web from 60% to 75% with Recon V, significant and powerful but I don't consider it broken, certainly a long way behind the 90% webs which the Angel Cartel ships get.

And I agree, bonused target painters are useful. They are just as useful when mounted on a Rapier though.

Quote:
By the way, don't you think that the reason for higher Force sales might also be attributed to the full 5 minutes you 'save' when popping cynos? I know thats why I have mine.


If the trend was common across all 4 races I would probably agree with you, however the fact that the Amarr Recons don't follow this pattern, and that the Curse/Pilgrim is the one example of the Combat Recon being a superior e-war support platform, points to it being something other than that. There's no particularly obvious reason why the Pilgrim is a less viable cyno ship than any of the others, or why amarr trained characters are less likely to be employed as cyno alts.

Helferle
Posted - 2010.12.19 04:51:00 - [10]
 

Don't nerf my split-weapon Huginn!!

Scatim Helicon
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
Posted - 2010.12.19 10:54:00 - [11]
 

Originally by: Helferle
Don't nerf my split-weapon Huginn!!


That the Huginn was made as a split-weapon platform is a nerf in itself.

Mikkaras
Amarr
Wreckage Reclamation Enforcement Consortium
Gentlemen's Interstellar Nightclub
Posted - 2010.12.19 17:39:00 - [12]
 

Originally by: Scatim Helicon
Originally by: Helferle
Don't nerf my split-weapon Huginn!!


That the Huginn was made as a split-weapon platform is a nerf in itself.


That ANY ship has two identical rate of fire bonuses to more than one weapon system is a big nerf. It is effectively one single bonus.

Think about it: A ship with 6 turrets and one ROF bonus, or a ship with 6 launchers and one ROF bonus... and yet a ship with 3 turrets and 3 launchers requires two bonuses to get a similar effect, AND still only gains half the use out of weapon upgrade modules and rigs...? The Typhoon is the other main example of a ship that suffers from this - originally four turrets and four launchers, although now you can up to five of one by removing one of the other, but it still "requires" two different bonuses to put the exact same ROF increase on all of its weapons, where most ships only require one. Ships like this are effectively missing out on a bonus.

If the "two" bonuses were combined to count as one, as they should, and a REAL second bonus was added, even one of minimal value, that would go a long way to remedying the issues these ships have.



 

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