Friday, 6 September 2013

Marauders - to PVP or not PVP

A recent blog to my list of reading is The Lazy Pilot. The author, Unforgiven Storm, writes well and obviously comes from somewhere where English is not the primary language. Not that doesn't stop him writing extremely well, I really do enjoy the blog.
However a post a couple of days ago about proposed changes to Marauders has gotten him into a lather. I read the original post and thought he was being a little too ferment in his opposition to the changes proposed, I think that there are other T2 ships that should be done first but other than that didn't really have much to contribute.
I've since read the EVE Online forums 'threadnaught' and the follow-up post from Unforgiven Storm and I agree more than I did before. Are CCP trying to take a PvE ship and bolt on PvP abilities whilst providing some buff to PvE abilities, it would appear so. All under the heading of 'balancing'.

A pilot who can fly a Marauder really deserves something special, so make the Marauder special for the almost billion ISK the hull costs and as a reward for people who do train it.


Marauders are complex ships. I've been playing for three years and only in the last two months have I got two characters skills enough to inject the Marauders skill book. These ships are just one step shy of capital ships, in fact look at the skills required and most are what a capital pilot should have (and pre-Odyssey 1.0 would have had to have). Only the Capital Ships and Advanced Spaceship Command skills are missing!
I've just checked and to fly just the ship (no modules) a new character would require at least:
  • 108d training for ship hull
  • 75d for Tech 2 Large guns
  • 60d for basic skills
That is not a short time nor something to be done on a whim, it's over a years solid training just there.

Ship Bonuses 

I can fly a Paladin I will use this as an example here but any changes should be applied to shield/armour regardless of the race.

I must say I'm underwhelmed by the Paladin's bonuses:
  • Amarr Battleship Skill Bonus:
    5% bonus to capacitor capacity and 10% bonus to the velocity factor of stasis webifiers per level
  • Marauder Skill Bonus
    7.5% bonus to repair amount of armor repair systems and 5% bonus to large energy turret damage per level
  • Role Bonus:
    100% bonus to energy weapon damage, 100% bonus to range and velocity of tractor beams
These really do need to be changed, anyone who fly's a Marauder will undoubtedly have a salvaging alt in a Noctis so do we really need that Role Bonus to tractor beams, I don't think we do. How about replacing it with a speed bonus or, as marauders are people who plunder, a increase in the already expansive cargo hold size to allow more loot or ammo to be carried?
The, updated, proposed changes remove the armour repair bonus and replace it with proper T2 resists but why can't we have both. Buff the resists to T2 and add the armour repair bonus? That will mean the ship can be used for PvE and be solid but also looks enticing for PvP use because it can be tanked well without having to add additional resistance modules instead of dps ones.


One thing I think needs addressing is the woeful drone support on Marauders. We're led to believe these ships "represent the cutting edge in today's warship technology" yet only the Kronos has 125m3 of drone space, enough for a full bay of either heavy or sentry drones but all can only field 75m3 worth.
What a travesty. I mean, these are cutting edge warships and drones are so prevalent in New Eden yet these ships appear to have had them tacked on as a "oh lets give them a few drones".
Let's change that and give all Marauders a minimum of 150m3 drone bay space and all have bandwidth for 125m3 (enough for 5 heavy/sentries). That would add nice dps to any engagement, PvE or PvP.

Bastion Module

I really wanted to laugh and point out the silliness of this module but the more I think about it the more I think it is a good idea and I disagree with Unforgiven Storm, we don't need a new class of ship that can fit in C1/C2 WH's to do the job of dreadnaught. T3's and battleships do a good enough job now for that, why complicate things with another specialised ship class.
To have a module that gives a similar effect to Marauders that the Siege module does means a lot of L4's that take 45 minutes or more to complete will see a drop in time to complete, thus increasing ISK/hr. After all it's all about the ISK per hour.
And if I'm getting more ISK per hour I'll no doubt add more bling to my ship, after all it's my ship and I can do that. Gankers be damned!

In Conclusion

I like changes, especially to ships I fly but the changes to Marauders need further work. I like the Bastion module but other changes seem to be giving with right hand but taking something with the left.
Why do we have to have things taken, they're proven and they work. Leave them be but add something new to the mix.

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