Monday, 29 March 2010

An Update

        Time has gone fast recently, the days all seem to be blurring together now. Life as a low-sec pirate is by no means easy and I'm really beginning to get to grips with this concept. The kills are slowing, targets are beginning to wise up to our ways. It's getting tough indeed. I haven't been able to find a good quality kill in a fair few days now whilst roaming solo as almost every potential target ends up as a trap for a much larger blob of battleships on my teeny little frigates. There is a underlying web of 'blue' status pirate corps around the Verge Vendor region now and they all sit on our doorstep. What was once a hotbed of inter-corporation conflict which led to great combat and the occasional blob has now become a suffocating situation which genuinely feels like it's Tuskers against the world.

        Now as many know the tuskers operate a no blue policy, we don't deal in alliances and we stick to our own. It's a policy I admire and give props to Jolo for sticking to this ethos throughout the years. I am beginning to wonder how long we can hold out against the onslaught of what I could calculate to be a (potentially) five hundred and above 'alliance' of corporations all out for our necks. It really is difficult to say accurately.

        We've also had an influx of new members to the corporation with the current tally at 90 members based off the attributes page and that's great. There is also a great sense of 'shipping up' going on, with battle-cruisers and above becoming more common place within our ad-hoc fleets. this is obviously a product of the ever more increasing enemy count and as I'm still only able to fly frigates effectively, I'm feeling the strain as I watch my fellow members field Drakes, Falcons, Scimitars and the like. It's truly a great sight to behold but I can only sit and fidget as my skill points slowly clock over to the next digit, I'm a long way from ever taking any of those ships out on a roam.

        I'm becoming more impatient with myself also in terms of my ship selection. Frigates are still the greatest ship class there is in New Eden in my opinion, but my very limited selection of what I believe might be four ships; Rifter, Jaguar, Wolf and Republic Fleet Firetail is really beginning to get to me. The Jaguar is a ship I'm falling out of love with rapidly. I want to fly it, I want to love flying it and I want nothing more than to achieve with it but the fact of the matter is I don't think you can. The sheer weight put against an assault ship attacking larger targets is insane for two reasons; neuts and webs. Now I think CCP are really missing something here with both modules and my thoughts are to follow...

        Medium neuts run frigates dry in seconds. There is no sense of tracking they just lock right on and suck your capacitor dry. Surely if there is a tiny ship darting around you then it would be a difficult challenge to get your module locked right into their cap bay. I suggest adding tracking to the neuts or a level of accuracy to them. By accuracy I mean the ability to neut out a small target. Make the neuting slightly less effectively depending on sig radius or hull size I say.

        Webs are my true hate with this game. A frigate has to speed tank in all fairness to stay alive against a cruiser. All the cruiser has to do is web and sick drones on you. Say the average a/b frigate runs about 1.1km/s (which in my opinion is being generous for most pilots) and you get hit by a meta 4 web. -60% speed right there. you are now down to 440m/s. Warrior II move at about 600m/s without the mwd active when orbiting. You become webbed and they will begin to circle you too fast for you to actually hit them due to their size and speed and at that point, you have lost the fight. There needs to be some level of defence against this and it once again comes in the form of accuracy. I suggest there be small/medium/large web modules designed to accommodate to each class. If there are different size of neuts, mwd's, ab's and many other modules why not webs? In my vision the web is quite literally a web, it wraps the target up and slows them down. If you have a tiny target and theoretically had a medium web, the mechanics could work in a way that the smaller targets could 'evade' the full effect of the web as it is designed for ships of much larger classes. This would result in say only a -30% speed reduction from the normal -60% and I believe it would be a step in the right direction for balancing the playing field out a little. Likewise if a web which was too small could not effectively web down a larger target, reducing it's effectiveness against that larger intended target, somewhat similar to putting an afterburner/mwd which is not the right class hull.

        I know you have to be mad to attack larger targets in frigate anyway but I think these changes would benefit the assault frigate class especially as the more I fly them, the more redundant they seem to become. Eve is a game about player skill and I'm losing sight of where player skill can go against game mechanics. This is especially annoying when you will pay a larger amount for an Assault Ship, stand no chance against a cheap Cruiser and skulk away with nothing when you inevitably lose it attacking the cheaper/insurable target. There is most definitely something wrong with this picture, I just don't know if anyone else actually sees it. CCP, help out the little guys please?


  1. I disagree with you about webs and Neuts. Bigger ships need to have some more effective defense against frigate sized ships than a -30% web, when they have already been nerfed down from a -90% web to a -60% web. Neuts can be countered with a small nos on your ship, it's cycle time can keep your ab web and scram active in most cases but you have to stay close to use it. I find Warrior II's to be easy meat for a frigate sized guns... At even at 600m/s I have been able to kill warriors faster than they could kill me, many times in both t1 and t2 frigs(with the exception of Vexors and Arbitrators, I hate you drone bonuses). If you have a web onboard it gives you a bit more of an edge to slow those drones down and take them out before they get you. As far as Jag's go with web/scram and a shield tank, the warrior II explosive damage should be mitigated for long enough to destroy their drones, or at least that has always been the case with me. However I agree with you that the Jag just isn't as cool for me as it seems to be for everyone else, I always find a way to die. I much prefer interceptors, but I tend to fill more of a tackle role in an inty than a solo one.

    I'm not saying give up on solo frig action, but when cruisers or BC are fit to counter frigates or fast movers, by fitting webs or neuts or even both then that's just a good fitting on their part for that fight, where the extra DPS from missiles could help them in their next fight. What about the poor Zealot pilot without a web that gets killed by an Incursus? I'm betting he wants frigs to move slower by default so he can hit the damn things!

    Frigates are difficult and rewarding because you have so few slots to fit. Especially with power grid and other limitations placed on them by their small size. This is also one of the reasons I find them so gratifying to get kills in! It takes more skill to shoehorn a good fit onto a Rifter or inty than onto a Omen, Vexor, Ruppie, Thorax etc. I used to fly the Wolf almost exclusively but it has become just such a poor class and poor AF that it is mostly useless.

    It all comes down to the fit you are fighting against. I would support a boost to the overall speed of AF's or a reduction in their sig radius to make them even harder to hit and more difficult to kill for larger ships. I admit I needed to change the way I looked at AF's when they changed them to have more slots and a bigger radius (their sig radius used to be based on the inty variants so they were very nice). I used to view them as a frig that could be used to kill cruisers like a HAC can be used to kill BS, however, now I think of them as Frigs that can kill any other frig out there, non-AF of course, and even most destroyers but still have a hard time with well fit cruisers. That is pretty much their role now. Incidentally you get this same problem with HAC's vs Battleships when you have to worry about large neuts! On that count, trying to get range works to solve that, but that isn't an easy option for a frig short fitting long ranged guns and having about 5 dps.

  2. It's good to see a well thought through response to this and you've put forward some very interesting points.

    I agree completely that the AF's as a role do not equate to what is possible in HAC's at all, I fear the Vagabond for it's power, speed and sheer awesomeness.

    Perhaps then CCP should take a better look into AFs and buffing them. It is obvious they planned to with the intended Dominion ab increase but eventually canned it. I think that as no other frigate related boost got nerfed, the poor af class got severely shot in the leg.

    Any more thoughts on this my fellow capsuleers?

  3. An interesting read, I have to say that the jury is still out for me as I haven't had what I feel is a decent period of time for me to get to know the Matari AF's just yet, time will be the judge.

    Though I plan to fly just as reckless as with my Rifters so who knows what possibilities are out there.

  4. As far as Assault Frigates are concerned, I normally don't take them out solo. My reasoning behind this is that a lot of people look out for assault frigates. With that comes gangs and

    I do fly a Harpy in gangs, however. I booster fit it with an active tank, so neuts are generally less of a concern. You might try a booster fit Jag, as you won't have to sacrifice your web for the booster.

  5. Aye I can see your point Balsakian, it is difficult to roam solo and keep your ship intact at the best of times when flying in an Assault Frigate.

    I've contemplated booster fits, but thought that if I did go with the booster fitting, then I would have a huge amount of cap being wasted just to make up for eventualities such as cruiser assaults. Plus if I wanted to shield tank and booster fit, I'd have to get rid of my web.

    This thought led me to making a rather drastic Jaguar fit which I still need to test run...

    Yes it is a dual armour repping Jaguar. I need to give it a real life run but am rather scared of all the hate comments I might get, the folks on Battleclinic haven't been particularly kind.

    It's a shame really, as my Jaguar fits run at 100% stable with a nos and about 85% without, but still fall flat on their face when confronted with a medium neut. I'll continue to play with fittings, I've just shipped a new hull up to hq for testing!

  6. AFs aren't quite agile enough for my liking, which makes the odds of losing your ship to a blob much higher (which is why I don't favor them for solo-piracy). T1 frigs, interceptors, or faction frigs are the best, in my opinion.

    As far as webs and neuts go, I think they're fairly balanced at the moment. A frigate with a small nos can manually use it in a way that will let them keep their propulsion mod and point active against a larger ship, but it still provides a larger ship with a potential counter against frigates. Webs are a pain, yes, but as long as you pack a web yourself, or plan on staying out of web range, they aren't terrible either.

    In other news, my brother (like, actual brother) Zeasier recently joined The Tuskers, so I hope he fits in well with you all (he was a former Bastard before he went to go try the null-sec thing, but now is back to piracy). Both of us might be on the frig-roam on the 3rd, so maybe I'll see you then.

  7. Ah I didn't realize Zesier was your brother, thats awesome.

    I haven't realy had the pleasure of flying beside him yet as I've been away from EVE but I look forward to it indeed.

    I'm also sad I missed the roam on the 3rd, would have been good to fly with you too mate.