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Improving T1 Cruisers
Znybar Wrote:The higher tier ships are in bigger need of balancing since they have a more significant effect in battles.

That's a quote from the blog comments on Ripard Tieg's Jester's Trek, in response to the ship balancing changes, mainly for cruisers, that CCP announced are going to come out in the Winter Expansion. To give him credit, Znybar does say that he is looking forward to the destroyer and cruiser changes, where it will be great to fly one "and not get laughed at" for a change. Recent Dev Blogs have pointed out a nerf to some Battlecruisers and I guess I'll have to wait until I know what they are really going to do to comment on those changes. But for many Eve players, ie the veterans flying battle cruisers, heavy assault ships and battleships, waiting for CCP to rebalance those "higher tier" ships is torture. After all, real pvpers don't fly destroyers and cruisers.

In my opinion, CCP has done a good job with the frigate rebalance so far. No one in the Open University of Celestial Hardship (OUCH) is going to complain about the changes to the Combat frigates. Yes, the frigate rebalance has dethroned the Rifter as the king of Frigates. CCP leveled the playing field with improvements to the Merlin, Incursus (poor Tristan) and Punisher. That's a good thing, because many of us just don't want to fly what everyone else is flying. Then CCP gave us more options, making those entry level fast scout frigates into viable combat or "attack" frigates. It's like living in a world where everyone except you is driving a Toyota Camry, and suddenly realizing that your Hyundai Sonata is a damned good car too.

As far as the upcoming changes, I can say that I'm not too thrilled with the idea of Logistics frigates but that's probably because I foresee a lot of potential Logi pilots losing interest in Logistics when they find themselves in pods more often than ship. Time will tell. But the proposed changes to the Exploration frigates are fine, giving them a more valid role as well as a progression path for a pure Covops explorer. And of course I am looking forward to improved EWAR frigates. Maybe I'll give up my beloved Griffin and strap on a Maulus or a Crucifier more often.

The tier 1 BCs in general, and some tier 2 BCs and HACs, specifically the Myrmidon and the Eagle, need love, but from where I sit, almost all of the battle cruisers and HACs just work. Some role defining between each of those ship classes and tier development could help line them up like the tier 3 battle cruisers have been developed as heavy DPS platforms. But I'm really looking forward to the upcoming cruiser changes because I think that improved cruisers will have a very positive impact on the overall health of small gang pvp.

In a small battle (involving 20 ships or less) the higher tier ships (battle cruiser, HAC or battleship) have a significant effect because they bring a whole lot more gank and tank than a cruiser or frigate does. That's why people fly BCs and HACs in small gangs. They want as much offensive and defensive power that they can get in the smallest, fastest package possible. They can't get that from cruisers today. But those larger ships are also the mainstays of large fleet battles (50 ships or more), where 1 battle cruiser is just a fraction of the overall might of the fleet.

Increasing the performance of higher tier ships will not have a significant effect in a large scale battle because improved performance from individual ships and pilots affects the outcome less as fleet size increases. This is not a bad thing by the way.

Increasing the performance of a cruiser (or frigate) will have a significant effect in a small gang battles for a number of reasons. First, an improved cruiser will bring more offensive and defensive power, which is why people upgrade to the higher tier ships in the first place. Second, more people will be able to compete earlier due to the lower skill requirements of cruisers versus BCs and HACs. Third, more people will be able to compete more often due to the lower cost of cruisers versus BCs and HACs, and spend less time to recoup their losses. Less time making money for pvp is more time for pvp.

Improving the cruiser class lowers the bar of entry into small gang pvp both in cost and in time. And it will not diminish any enjoyment from flying the T2 versions, because some people will always desire to fly the best. They won't downgrade from their Mercedes to drive a Hyundai, no matter how good Hyundai gets, and we can see that in the pilots of T1 and T2 frigates right now. Folks will fly inexpensive when they want bang for their buck, and they will fly expensive when they want high performance. It all depends on the mission and this will carry over into cruisers versus battle cruisers and HACs.

So improvements to T1 cruisers can't be anything but a "thumbs up" for the small gang pvp community, because anything that gets more pilots into pvp has got to be a good thing.
Fly Safe or Fly Dangerous, Just Don't Fly Stupid.
Eve Killboard - East US TZ
In the business of maintaining the high cost of implants since 2009.

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