T2 Capital Ship Proposal

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With it being a bank holiday in Iceland I’ve been left with very little Crius news to write about as such I’m writing about something a little different today. I was initially considering what CCP must have planned with T2 capitals already due to the existence of T2 capital component BPOs that are not required in the construction of jump freighters. This led me to writing this piece a proposed introduction of T2 capital ships to New Eden to take up more specialised roles and fulfil niche combat roles whilst making capital warfare more engaging on a tactical level.

Whilst I’m by no means an expert at PvP I spent a large proportion of my EVE play time as a highsec mercenary. One of the most common requests was POS takedown a painful request for both a small mercenary corp and their clients with extremely expensive quotes due to the time intensive nature of taking down a POS without capital ships.

Currently the easiest way to get around the highsec ECM dickstar problem is to use Marauders but with the coming changes to labs and manufacturing arrays we’ll likely see POS armed to the teeth in highsec and manned by POS gunners now that the skill requirements for POS gunning are being reduced this is extremely likely.

To resolve this problem T2 Dreadnoughts could be introduced in comparison to standard dreadnoughts they would differ in several ways:

  • T2 resist profile, but only about 75% of the current maxed EHP.
  • Damage in the region of 5,000 DPS whilst in siege.
  • Signature radius between battleship and carrier size, smaller the better looking for standard dreads to be able to hit fully. Reason being it’s effectively a stripped down less bulky dreadnought.
  • Jump drive range about half of that of a jump freighter, whilst also able to access highsec. This helps to counter force projection and gives a home ground advantage during capital fights.
  • Vulnerable to capacitor warfare to ensure that small organised groups could take down these ships if they don’t have support.
  • Able to use a capital micro jump drive whilst in siege only, this is to add an interesting play mechanic and encourage their usage in null and low sec rather than just high sec space. This would be used for all sorts of things for example about to exit siege cycle MJD out of engagement and jump out. This could be countered as MJD moves you directly forwards and as you’re in siege you can’t change alignment so we could find interdictors sitting 100km off a fight to ensure T2 dreads can’t run away.

I’d be looking at the T2 material cost being about half that of jump freighters the reason being is the ships a light dreadnought designed to be able to enter highsec and be more mobile at the expense of reduced HP, DPS and jump range. Intended initial prices to sit in the region of 4-5bil per ship naturally the market will dictate this.

The second of the ships is a command carrier; it seems bizarre to me that to get the best EHP you have to send a standard Commandship travelling with your capitals. A T2 carrier specifically designed for the role could have the following bonuses:

  • 3% bonus per Command carrier level to most common racial tank type, armor for Gallente and Amarr and shield for Caldari and Minmatar.
  • 2.5% bonus per Command carrier level to racial e-war, ECM for Caldari, tracking disruptors for Amarr, stasis webification for Minimatar and Warp disruption for Gallente.
  • T2 resist profile with EHP in the region of 300% of a t1 carrier, they are designed to stay alive and issue orders on the field.
  • Can’t use standard fighters, can only use 5 light fighters a T2 fighter variant designed to counter heavy tackle such as HICs. Damage 30% of that of a standard carrier, it’s not there for damage reasons and is really a token gesture.
  • Jump range equal to that of dreadnoughts, it’s designed to be rather mainstream ship so should be able to travel at the same rate as a standard T1 capital (without supers) fleet.
  • Not able to enter highsec.

With regards to cost you’re getting some great bonuses so really should be looking at the same sort of cost and material requirements as a jump freighter. Intended initial price 6-7bil per ship, on the other hand you may want to go for a third of the material costs to encourage mainstream usage making them 2-3bil per ship.

The final ship suggestion is the electronic warfare carrier; capital warfare is rather generic due to the hit siege watch things go boom play style. There are also very limited capital vs capital counter options with the only viable counter being support ships, this is OK but it would be great to see a greater level of tactical fleet composition in capital engagements.

With this in mind an electronic warfare carrier could reintroduce mechanics to which dreadnoughts and potentially even titans were previously resistant. Here are the bonuses I had in mind:

  • Standard EHP slightly above T1 carriers due to a T2 resist profile.
  • Able to launch 10 light T2 fighters for up to 60% of the damage of a standard carrier. Able to better track and apply damage to support ships such as HICs.
  • Able to launch 10 EWAR fighters that are only able to apply their e-war effects to other capitals.
  • The four varieties of EWAR for capitals should be ECM for Caldari, tracking disruption for Amarr, stasis webification for Minmatar and warp disruption for Gallente.  These should only get additional strength bonuses from Command carriers and the hulls electronic warfare skill. All of these T2 fighters should be chance based.
  • New remote repair module specifically to repair T2 ECM fighters, idea is to encourage mechanics around repairing own fighters under smart bombing damage. May also choose to keep alive other peoples T2 fighers alive at the cost of own fighter death or not being able to use own fighters. This once again adds interesting decision making to capital warfare.
  • Jump range 50% of dreadnoughts to once again encourage home ground advantage during capital engagements and reduce force projection. All of that ECM equipment needed space in the ship so smaller less capable jump drives had to be installed.
  • Not able to enter highsec, open to this class being able to access highsec to counter T2 dreads easier.

The initial intended price is in the region of 3-4bil per unit so just below the cost of the T2 dreadnoughts, this would mean about the same T2 material costs with the main price difference coming from dreadnoughts increased base hull costs.

At the same time as additional danger is added to highsec POS ownership we should also increase the potential rewards and encourage open conflict in highsec. To do this the moons in highsec should be spawned with T2 materials roughly equal to the expected long term consumption from T2 capital usage. We’ll naturally see groups like Goonswarm still own all the highest value moons but it does give the dedicated highsec alliance something to strive towards. It also means players have to carefully choose their moon as low value moons are less likely to be targeted by someone looking to harvest the available materials.

Overall it’s very likely especially in the short term that moon material prices would increase but after the initial production rush is over things would level out. These changes could also be accompanied by pirate dreadnoughts built around the racial bonuses, for example it would be very interesting to see a capital sized Bhaalgorn adding yet more variety to capital warfare. Overall this could all tie together nicely as a release with a backstory capsuleers gaining further independence from empires mining their highsec moons and getting more capitals into highsec as well as a pirate response to increased capsuleer capital capabilities by bringing their own pirate faction capital developments to the warzone.

Overall I think it would be a great thing for EVE to have capital warfare that’s just as complex as sub capital warfare, as well as adding a new end goal for current capital pilots not looking to be trapped in a super capital. Additionally with the pricing it acts as a great midpoint between capital and super capital costs making it a more accessible feature.

Not only would these changes added needed complexity to capital warfare it would also help to reduce force projection adding a home turf advantage due to the limited jump ranges of the new capitals. This could be yet further amplified by high fuel usage to further attempt to limit force projection.

Highsec players would have plenty of reasons to celebrate too. Not only would in mean more war activity and more active mercenaries due to highsec POS’s being a more viable target for small but wealthy mercenary corporations it also means we get a whole new range of ships to build with high ISK values. This would make more experienced and wealthy players gravitate towards their construction opening up profit opportunities in the areas of the market these players are leaving. Additionally highsec has a new conflict driver and income source for the growing alliance in the form of moons with value.

As releases go it’s highly unlikely to ever come to fruition due to the long term plans CCP already have in place and the pure amount of content but every now and then it’s great to step back and think about a utopian future where EVE is the game with the features of our dreams.