Tuesday, June 14, 2016

BB76 - The FC's Flagship

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 76th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

At fanfest CCP Fozzie proposed a potential new ship class. Lets call it the fleet commander's flagship for now. This is to try and prevent "FC Headshotting" where the opposing fleet knows who the FC is and alpha's them off the field leaving the rest of the fleet in confusion and disarray. Fozzie mentioned a ship with a great tank but no offensive abilities. Is this a good idea? Is FC head-shotting a legitimate tactic? If CCP do go down the route of a "flagship" how might this work? Also is a new ship the answer or is there another way of giving an FC the ability not to be assassinated 12 seconds into the fight without letting players exploit it?


Before we start thinking about the ship itself, the first thing to consider are Eve Players. Capsuleers are named in the lore as the "Gods of Destruction". The players behind them are the "Gods of Exploitation". Whilst we are talking about a ship designed for FC's to prevent fleet headshotting, we must also think about the creative ways players could abuse any ship with such abilities. For example FW farming is a personal bugbear of mine. Skill injector and PLEX movers could do so in safety. You are not going to get alpha'd on the Jita undock by a lone suicide ganker in a ship designed to withstand an entire fleet's alpha.

The ship must be versatile to fit into the most common fleet types. It should be able to hold itself in a battleship fleet, but also must keep up with a T3 Cruiser fleet. My initial thought of a battleship hull for the "flagship" means it would only be useful in battleship fleets right? We need to step down at least one hull size. We also don't want to break lore and no cruiser sized hull should have a tank better than a T3 equivalent. So how about something in between.

I imagine a T3 battlecruiser. However working more like a T3 destroyer than a T3 cruiser. It has 'modes' that can be switched between just like the destroyers.

"Attack Mode"
The ship is similar to a Battlecrusier. Not as tanky as a Command Ship, but better than the normal T1 BC. It has normal weapons, drones and the like. It should also be more maneuverable and faster. We want a ship that can fly with a cruiser fleet and not hold them up a lot, but also can fit into a battleship fleet.

"Boost Mode"
Acts like a command ship. Can run up to three warfare links at the same time however the boost is not as good as a proper command ship. Again, the ship is better than a T1 BC, but worse than a command ship.

"Turtle Mode"
Diverts power from hi-slot modules weapons to shields. Shuts down non-essential electronics to reduce signature radius. Basically all high-slot modules are offline and drone bandwith drops to zero. However shields or armour (depending on race) get massive resists and signature radius is tiny compared to normal mode. It can still target (so the FC can see enemy tank of the primary) but cannot take any offensive action.

OK so how will players exploit that? With the FW farmers they can only do large (ungated) plex and their defense is they can swap to turtle mode and hope the person who caught them gets bored of trying to break their uber-tank. I do not see this as being a popular farming ship compared to a stabbed Tristan or a throw-away Atron. Especially at the price of a T3 and the likelihood of being caught.

The problem will be hauling. The cargo hold can be minimal, but that will still allow small items like PLEX and skill injectors to be carried in relative safety. Could it have a small "ammo only" bay. The mechanics are there so you can only put a ship containing charges inside a carrier. Also we have drone bays, ore bays, PI bays. I assume CCP can easily make a "charge only" bay that can carry ammo, nanite paste and cap boosters and nothing else. That might be one way to stop the ship being used as haulers.

The mode swapping should have a long cool down. 5 minutes? This will prevent the FC using boost mode and swapping to turtle every time they get yellow boxed. This will also help with things like gate camps. A ship that can burn back to gate and make it even if webbed due to the tank. 5 minutes allows time to get more DPS there. Make it an expensive ship requiring a lot of expensive components to build and people will think twice about using it. Especially those risk-averse who might see it is an ideal ship.

So that's a rough idea of what might work. Whatever road CCP go down I don't think it'll be an easy ship to balance.


  1. A simpler answer is to remove the pilot name column from the overview. It would automatically happen in wh and null space, and would occur in high sec when two groups war dec each other. Low sec I am not sure what would be best, but gameplay would sort out whether the null or high sec option is best.

    We don't need more ship creep. We need someone with actual brains working at CCP.

    1. Might go a bit all Clear Skies if we do that? "Primary is... erm... third Tengu from the left!"

    2. @Drackarm...If "Eve is real", as CCP marketing likes to remind us, why should am opposing fleet know what ship the FC is in? During the Battle of Midway, the Americans and Japanese could barely identify each individual carrier, let alone guess which one the admiral was on.

    3. Not talking about the FC, talking about anyone to be called primary. How do you focus fire? You'll have 200 man fleets with 200 way split DPS. Could get interesting

    4. Yeah, I see your point. But that is what the tag column is for!

    5. Kesmai actually did something like that back with Air Warrior ages ago. Initially you could see the pilot name, but not what they were flying. That meant avoiding the good players and harvesting the bad. They swapped it later so you could only see what plane they were flying (P-51, Spitfire, etc.) which shook things up quite a bit. Good pilots would take up planes only noobs would fly just to zap people looking for an easy kill.

      On the flip side, you might want to ask the Japanese about the fate of Admiral Yamamoto. They knew which plane he was on.

  2. surely it would have no cargo space, just immense tank and nothing else, not allowed to enter plexes oand basically cut off at the knees so it cannot do anythign else at all

  3. Wait Ninja Cheerleaders is a real movie? Damm you Netflix for not having this movie available.