Fears for Tiers

Just because everyone and his dog is blogging about Mittens, I’m going to concentrate on what’s really important right now; Internet Spaceships. Just before Fanfest (2012, hello readers from the future) CCP announced their intent to do away with the Tier system of ships working class by class up the ships converting them to a “Ship Lines” along with a fleshing out of missing classes and inconsistency’s in the skill tree.
Currently, frigates are divided up into 6 or 3 tiers depending on who you ask. Players talk of 6 tiers (one for each ship not including the newbie frigate), whereas the dev blog which talked about these changes specified that there were currently 3 tiers (including the newbie frigate). I’m going to go with the player version of tiers, as the CCP grouping makes no sense what so ever (more on this later).

The new Ship Lines will have 5 types which specialise as below:

Ship Line

Damage

Defence

Mobility

Notes

Combat

++

++

++/–Range

Attack

++

+/-

++

Bombardment

++

+/-

+/-

++ Range

Support

+/-

+/-

Force multipliers

Industry

+/-

Mine or haul

So let’s talk generalisations:

Tier 1 – 3 all have 6 slots and are never well tanked, if CCP’s intent is to make all frigates equal the first step with these should be to bring them up to par with the current tier 6 ships, giving them 10 total slots or balancing them to make up for this deficit.

Tier 1 is a clear cases for the Industrial line with balancing they should make good miners/mini haulers

Tier 2 is all about speed making them most likely to become Attack Vessels. To match this profile they will likely require a boost to damage and a minor buff to their defences.

Tier 3 ships are exploration ships. By process of elimination, these scanning ships cannot be any of the damage centric lines, nor can they be called Industrial by nature. Therefore we must argue that they indirectly Support fleets. Currently these ships are very under par in damage and would require a buff to fit this class.

Tier 4 has 8 or 9 slots (generally if this tier has 9 Tier 5 will have 8 and vice versa). The tier centralises on racial electronic warfare hence I suspect the variance in slots. This class clearly goes into Support.

Tiers 5 and 6 have 9 and 10 slots respectively. They are all combating centric and each race tends to have one specialised in each of their primary and secondary damage types. Although all these ships are combat centric, they are very racially individual as to whether they are Attack, Combat or Bombardment ships. This is a good thing in my opinion and the spread should be kept.

So where does this leave us? We now have 6 frigates spread with:

1 Industrial

1 Attack

2 Support

And two other ships spread between Combat, attack and Bombardment (different for each race).

For a well skilled experienced player this seems like a great change. As these ships are used a lot for cheap solo PvP where before we all used the tier 6 or occasionally tier 5 (Rifters and Kestrals) we might now consider the Tier 2 speed ship as a viable option.

In terms of how much CCP should boost these ships, I believe that price should be a good reflection of power. Currently T1 average around the 0.7M ISK range. Whereas the T2 versions are closer to 18M average range; roughly 25 times more expensive. I would not advocate a 1 for 1 price to effectiveness ratio, but if CCP boost the frigates until T2 is only 12-13 times better that the T1 equivalent, we might just see more T1 ships in combat.

It’s an interesting change, and in my opinion keeps the complexity and variability of EvE while at the same time making it easier to understand*.

Thanks for reading

Hark

*No I don’t think these things are mutually exclusive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *