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BLOPs Battleship Rebalance – Reforming Roles and Traits

Content of the article: "BLOPs Battleship Rebalance – Reforming Roles and Traits"

TL;DR: Move some outdated traits out, reform them as role bonuses or as ship base stats. Then rebalance each BLOPs to suit a specific role (Tank/DPS/Support). Read the post for details.

I'm excluding the Marshal from this as its a pretty limited ship and its also pretty well balanced. It also has multiple bonuses in it "black Ops" bonus already.

I'm not a fan of how T2 battleships are currently balanced. As both BLOPs battleships and Marauders fall into the same "toy" category. Meaning, they don't really have a defined role and are used as extravagance due to boredom. A BLOPs battleship's singular "role" is being a bridge bitch. Otherwise, it can be replaced with a bomber or T3 to achieve a similar, cheaper effect as a DPS ship.

I'll say this now; The main issue with BLOPs battleships is they have a severe lack of "ideal" targets. Meaning, back in the day, before ishtars and Gilas, ratting battleships were a very common target. But people rarely rat in battleships anymore (Domi and maybe rattles are the common exceptions), which has snuffed out a good portion of BLOPs battleship targets. Most BLOPs drops are just against things that can't fight back (see most of lowsec) and aren't used to try "punching-up" because BLOPs are squishy and can easily be removed by a T1 battleship if isolated.

However, its unlikely we'll see CCP address the BLOPs target issue as its a more complex issue that a singular change would not affect. So instead, i'd like to see a refocus on BLOPs battleships to help flesh out their roles during a drop and potentially add something to help allow them to punch up a level or be more viable in various roles.

BLOPs Trait Rebalance and Role Bonuses

To start, BLOPs battleship traits and bonuses are a mess in my opinion. For example, the Sin gets an inertia bonus and the Panther gets a velocity bonus. Why? These are very dated bonuses and like the vagabond of old (vagabond used to have a velocity bonus as well), should have been rolled into the hull's base stats.

The "125% bonus to ship velocity when using cloaks" trait should be removed from the trait bonuses and placed in as a "Role bonus". This is something that helps define the role of the BLOPs battleship, its unique to the ship class and takes up useful trait slots. Setting it as a 625% bonus to ship velocity when using cloaks role bonus would make more sense.

For BLOPs battleships, because they are often flown together in a drop, i've always thought they should be balanced more like a "Gang" or, typical MMO "Party". I don't like making the comparison, but i think it illustrates the point easily. Each BLOPs battleship should serve a particular role to suit your gang/party, just like a standard MMO has DPS, Tank, Support and Debuff class, BLOPs could be balanced in a similar manner. So when you drop, your party comp can be adjusted to your target. The proposed breakdown would be:

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Widow = Tank (ECM)

Redeemer = Debuff (neuts)

Sin = DPS/Support

Panther = DPS/Speed

Marshal = Dps/Tackle (remains unchanged)

With their roles more clearly defined in this method, the following changes could be made to the hulls themselves:

Widow

The Widow would see a drastic re-arrangement of its traits to better suit the tank role. Since the Widow uses ECM as a "taunt" with current ECM mechanics, that means it can redirect damage to itself. So its bonuses need to reflect that ability to tank and do ECM things. As such, the Widow would get a stronger ECM bonus (possibly the strongest in the game in pure ECM strength). To actually be able to tank the taunt, it would then get both a 4% bonus to shield resistance per level and 10% bonus to shield HP per level bonuses. It would lose the missile velocity bonus (because do you really need 222km range cruise missiles on a BLOPs ship?). As for torpedo range, remember that torpedoes just got their range buffed, so the current torpedo range (unbonused) is the same range that the Widow used to get with the velocity bonus before the torpedo changes.

Widow bonuses would look like this:

Black Ops Bonuses

40% bonus to ECM Target Jammer and ECM Burst Jammer Strength Per level (was 30%)

4% bonus to shield resistances per level

Caldari Battleship Bonuses:

5% bonus to Rapid Heavy Missile, Cruise Missile and Torpedo Launcher rate of fire per level

5% bonus to shield hit points per level

Role bonuses:

All the same bonuses they have now

625% bonus to ship velocity while cloaked

With these changes, it would now be able to fit 2-3 jams for better jam consistency with the extra ECM strength but with the shield HP bonus and resist bonus, will have much healthier EHP to tank the target that its jamming so the other BLOPs ships can do their job.

Redeemer

Redeemer is in a reasonable spot currently, but as part of the rebalance to suit its role, it would get Neutralizer bonuses

Black Ops Bonuses:

7.5% bonus to Large Energy Turret Tracking speed per level

7.5% bonus to Energy Nosferatu and Energy Neutralizer drain amount per level

Amarr Battleship Bonuses:

5% Reduction to Energy Nosferatu and Energy Neutralizer Activation Cost and Cycle time per Level

5% bonus to Large Energy Turret rate of fire

Role bonuses:

All the same bonuses they have now

625% bonus to ship velocity while cloaked

Redeemer losing the laser cap bonus isn't a huge deal, especially in the age of battleships using 3200 cap boosters. Plus, with the increased Nos cycle time along with amount stolen, allows it to maintain cap with a Nos if needed. The neut bonuses allow it to be different than the bhaal, but not as strong as far as direct neut "alpha" but with the faster cycle time and limited highs, would still apply good cap pressure to a target. The reason i kept the neut bonus lower than the bhaal is because the bhaal should still have the biggest neut "alpha" to retain its uniqueness, but also because the Redeemer can cyno in.

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I'm aware that you could go full neut redeemer. I'm ok with this, and could give groups an option to counter ships that they need neut pressure against much quicker, or even when fighting against capitals (instead of burning a bhaal over, they can light a cyno to get redeemers in quick). Remember, you're putting isk on field (1.5b+) and providing a better role for a ship class with these changes. Its ok for them to be strong in these specific situations.

Panther

The Panther is also relatively well balanced as a BLOPs battleship, but for consistencies sake, since we are moving the cloak velocity bonus into its role bonus, that frees up a trait slot. As well as moving the velocity bonus into the base hull stats, we can incorporate 2 new bonuses to better distinguish its role and be lore friendly.

Black Ops Bonuses:

3% reduction in ship signature radius per level

7.5% bonus to Large Projectile Turret Tracking per level

Minmatar Battleship Bonuses:

5% bonus to Large Projectile Turret Rate of Fire per level

5% bonus to Large Projectile turret damage per level

Role Bonuses:

All the same bonuses they have now

625% bonus to ship velocity while cloaked

The Panther's changes are more subtle since its already favored as a DPS BLOPs platform. The 15% sig reduction would bring its signature down to about 250 on an armor version (before MWD) which is basically a battlecruiser sized sig. Could help open up some niche fits where it can sig tank against larger ships and even against other battleships.

Sin

Sin currently functions as the "Neut ship" in the BLOPs line-up. With the Redeemer taking that over, it would transition more into a DPS role or a support role. Inertia bonus would get rolled into the current hull base stats, so it has 2 new trait bonuses to work with.

Black Ops Bonuses:

15% bonus to logistic drone transfer amount per level

7.5% bonus to heavy drone tracking and optimal range per level

Gallente Battleship Bonuses:

5% bonus to Large Hybrid Turret damage per level

10% bonus to Drone hitpoints and damage per level

Role Bonuses:

All the same bonuses they have now

625% bonus to ship velocity while cloaked

With these changes, the Sin can act as either a DPS platform (hybrid/drone damage) or a Support platform with the logistic drone bonuses. It could also fill its highs with RR instead of guns, in conjunction with the drone bonuses. But it also means it would do 0 damage at that point.

With these changes, i think BLOPs could find better uses than their current iteration. Even in non BLOPs drops, the Widow would most likely see a lot of use in WH fights as a dedicated ECM ship (even though it lacks the range bonus, it could actually tank and not die immediately). The redeemer could be a fast response neut ship against capitals or stubborn tank targets. Panther could even be used in nano or dual prop fits with the lower sig and tracking bonus. Sin would have a lot more utility and could diversify to make it more unpredictable.

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Even though we can't bring back BLOPs ideal targets, we can certainly make them viable to start hunting new targets, or find other uses outside of straight drops.

There are other gimmicks that could be done, but I think at the bare minimum, BLOPs Battleships need a general trait rebalance to refocus their roles and then go from there.

Source: reddit.com

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