Friday, 23 May 2014

Blockade Running and Deep Space Transports get a much needed upgrade

I'll only be covering my reaction to the changes as I use both the Prorator and Impel of these classes, your mileage my vary if you use different ships.

Blockade Runners

I have used Blockade Runners, mainly the Prorator, many times when I'm either carrying high value cargo (rare these days) or moving through hostile space (usually distribution missions and/or moving low/medium value assets in null sec).

The changes mean the Prorator will now have the following stats:

Amarr Industrial Bonus per level:
+5% Cargo Capacity
+5% Velocity

Transport Ships Bonus per level:
+5% Warp Speed (was the useless tanking bonus)
-20% CPU requirements for Cloaking Devices
Note: Can fit covert ops cloaking devices and covert cynos. Cloak reactivation delay reduced to 5 seconds. 
Immune to cargo scanning.

Slot layout: 2(+1)H, 2M, 4L; 1 turret
Fittings: 150 PWG, 200(+5) CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 800(-255) / 2000(-109) / 2100(-150)
Base shield resistances (EM/Therm/Kin/Exp): 0 / 20 / 70(+15) / 87.5(+12.5)
Base armor resistances (EM/Therm/Kin/Exp): 50 / 35 / 62.5(+18.75) / 80(+20)
Capacitor (amount / recharge / cap per second) : 1375(+437.5) / 393(+112)s / 3.5
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 170(+10) / 0.52(-0.03) / 10,750,000 / 7.75s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 0 / 0
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 35km / 240 / 2
Sensor strength: 14
Signature radius: 110(-5)
Cargo Hold: 2900(+400)m3

The covert ops cloak was the main reason I used one and combined with the mwd trick on gates meant I was 99% safe in moving what I had to. The only issue I had was the small cargo space meant I didn't use it as much as the Deep Space Transport (Impel) that I had when going only a couple of jumps.

However the upgrade sees a lot of changes and the totally useless bonus to tanking has been removed in favour of a bonus to warp speed. Combined with an extra base 400m3 of cargo space means with T1 rigs and cargo expanders in the lows should see my Prorator easily exceed 10,000m3 of cargo space.

In real game terms it means I'll get around 8,000m3 of space with two cargohold expanders and T1 rigs with nanofibres and/or inertia stabs in the other low slot. The upgrade to T2 resists is nice, not exactly useful as this thing has as much tank as a piece of paper but it evens up all T2 ships.

Full details on the changes can be found here.

Deep Space Transports

DST's are a class of vessel that, once T1 haulers were rebalanced, really lost their use. T2 rig fitted you'd be close to 40,000m3 of space but T1 haulers that had specialized bays made these look a little dated so it's nice to see them get a really big change with the introduction of the Fleet Hanger.

The bonus to Fleet Hanger capacity means people will finally have a reason to train Transport Ships beyond Level 2, even up to Level 5 (if you have the patience). I'm certainly going to be doing that on my characters that maintain my towers, it means I no longer have to risk the Freighter, using instead a Impel, to haul all my materials to/from towers as they'll fit nicely in a DST.

These changes for the Impel are as follows:

Amarr Industrial Bonus per level:
+7.5% Armor Repairer Effectiveness
+5% Velocity

Transport Ships Bonus per level:
+5% Fleet Hangar capacity
+4% Armor Resistances

Role Bonuses:
+2 Warp Core Strength
+100% bonus to the benefits of overheating Afterburners, Microwarpdrives, Local Repair Modules, and 

Resistance Modules
Note: Can fit Medium Micro Jump Drives
Slot layout: 2(+1)H, 2(+1)M, 7L; 2(+2) launchers
Fittings: 330(+80) PWG, 240(+65) CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 2000(-109) / 4300(+81) / 4500
Capacitor (amount / recharge / cap per second) : 3500(+2250) / 875(+563)s / 4
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 90(+10) / 1 / 19,500,000(+500,000) / 27.03s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 0 / 0
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 45km / 205 / 3(+1)
Sensor strength: 16
Signature radius: 160
Cargo Hold: 1000(-3000)m3
Fleet Hangar: 50000m3


I believe these changes are balanced and add new life to two classes that have been very much underused. I'm certainly going to invest in another couple of each ship as they now, with increased cargo holds/fleet hangers, can fill a gap in my logistics chain that I previously fixed with a freighter. The only other thing that would make DST's more interesting would be interdiction nullification (like Interceptors) that's been suggested before.

One thing that did make me laugh with the changes to DST's was a Impel fit that I saw that, utilising the Role bonus to overheating, used Deadspace/Officer modules and overheating to get all four resists above 99% and maintain them for at least two minutes with a cap booster!

There are those that are still complaining that Blockade Runners should have their cargo scanning immunity removed but it's a nice feature to have and means gankers don't have it all their own way finding targets. It's possible they won't get a thing from BR's.


  1. If your BR gets scanned, your doing it wrong anyway...

  2. I've seen many BR's autopiloting the Amarr->Jita pipe, so people are doing it wrong.