2 years later, and EDENCOM is still unusable

2ish Years ago, not long after the Triglavian event, I had a very, very brief discussion (more like a single question followed by a short answer) concerning what CCP planned to do with the EDENCOM vessels. This was, for the record, after the initial buff to their number of targets. I, and many others, expressed serious concerns about the viability (or rather, the near total lack thereof) of the ships as well as their ludicrous pricepoint (the almost direct result of a single component which drops from only a select number of Triglavian rats which can only ever be found in Pochven or spawning out of wormholes leading to Pochven; specifically the Triglavian Transconduit Datacaster, which makes up anywhere from 50-90% of the total cost of any given EDENCOM Hull, Module, or Ammo).

The answer I got, presumably from the dev more or less responsible (or a dev who had communicated with the one/team responsible) that they were taking a “wait and see” approach.

It’s been 2 years. And the single only change these ships have seen is that the Pyrolancea drug and a number of wormhole effects now affect their weapons- which means more or less absolutely nothing whatsoever. Even in a C6 wormhole with the maximum bonus damage, the WH rats are still simply too durable and too fast for Vorton’s to kill them with anything approximating speed. Outside of Wormholes, the only ship which sees any amount of use is apparently (at least according to sources I’ve found on reddit and from discussion with people in-game) is the Stormbringer, almost exclusively in the Abyssal filament activity. Beyond that, there is only a single type of site for a single pirate faction that the Thunderchild is even somewhat competitive (Sansha Havens, to be specific- two Thunderchilds can clear those out decently quickly, making about ~200m/hr assuming you have the safety necessary to not get ganked and a decently developed system). The frigate, the Skybreaker, sees no use whatsoever in any application anywhere in New Eden, and is the single most useless ship hull in the entire game. Even Corvettes help out new players just starting out, and are a free and easy way for people to travel in HS without too much threat of being ganked.

What happened? Are they seriously waiting this long? I see so many easy ways to fix these ships, to make them at least viable. Making these ships viable, to boot, is a huge way to stir up activity in Pochven and get people actually willing to farm the activities in there just to acquire these ships- which would, over time, push their prices down a bit. It would also help to introduce some more choice and variety in ship options and general ratting stratagies, and possibly introduce more variety into PvP as well (though I believe these ships were intended for PvE, as they are the “Anti-Trig” line of vessels and the trig ships really are born to kill capsuleer vessels)

The first, and easiest, way to fix these ships is to make their gun more generically usable. Increase the bounce range so that it doesn’t require ships to be in knife-fighting range of each other (15km, or even 20km, radius would be decent given how rats like to spread out), and make it so the bounces prioritize locked targets first- with excess bounces being random. This gives the vessels a measure of control over how they apply their damage, allowing them to to be at all functional in most scenarios. To compensate for this, so that they aren’t just totally OP by way of freely targeting 7+ ships at once and guaranteeing huge and controlled DPS, reduce their base number of locked targets so that you need higher skills and/or modules to lock a decent number of ships- thereby adding a cost to the control, while still giving players the option to optimize their damage/speed/tank if they are fine only locking 2 or 3 ships. This would make all 3 ships genuinely useful in both PvP and ratting, even with their pitiful single-target damage. As they would finally have the range and controllability necessary to actually achieve their theoretically very high raw output in most situations (which is still only barely that of other ships in their weight class, due to their generally poor application and the fact that passive shield regen or local repair - both of which are exceedingly common amongst most rat factions - can dramatically reduce this output far more heavily than single-target weapons).

A different possibility, one that should certainly not be combined with the above, is to embrace their unreliability and let that be the balancing point for the weapons. Semi-poor application and a relative inability to effectively control where your damage goes, in return for a much higher raw damage output. Straight up, double their damage. That’s it. Their single-target damage would still be absolute dogwater compared to most other ships in their weightclass, but it would mean that the ships getting to hit multiple targets soars their damage output. The issue, of course, being that those targets need to be traveling relatively slowly and within 10km of each other. Not to mention that, in PvP, walls of drones and closing the gap can hard-counter the ships by causing their damage to go into targets they cannot easily apply into or worse, their own allies (turning them into a PvP liability, while being extremely good at Ratting vessels). As ratting ships, they would become at least viable with this “Oh but why use a Marauder when a Thunderchild could output 4x the DPS” that doesn’t happen, even with this, pretty much ever. Why? Again, poor application. Even against battleships moving a decent click, a thunderchild’s Vorton Projector can lose a significant portion of its damage. Furthermore, rats almost always have ohkay-ish passive shield regen and very often have some amount of logistics (either local or from other rats in the site). Furthermore, rats tend to mindlessly chase after their target vessel- which causes them to spread out very widely as each individual frigate, cruiser, and battleship enters their own orbits a few km apart from one another. Especially over long fights with lots of ships or in very large sites where the rats spawn very far from one another. At best these ships are hitting 2 or 3 rats at any given time, with only a handful of exceptions (such as the aforementioned Sansha Haven, which spawns them all in a tight clump in the middle of rocks that block their movement). This means that for most purposes, the ships would be merely competitive with other T1 battleships and/or Marauders (when fully kitted out with expensive modules to be able to tank), and only in a select number of specific sites would they be anything close to an “objective best”. Furthermore, because this method also makes them weaker in PvP due to friendly fire and general uncontrollability, these ships would be exceedingly dangerous to rat in. Both in Hi-sec because a suspect pilot can more or less force the ratter to lose their concord protection, and in low-sec because the ships cannot deal effectively with drone swarms and cannot be safely used in groups due to friendly fire. This makes them a high risk, high reward type of ship that requires careful planning (and likely fleet coordination) to use effectively.

A third possibility is to make these ships just plain more cost effective by lowering the ludicrous number of Triglavian Transconduit Datacasters needed to buy their BPCs. Making them far, far cheaper to construct and thus alot more attractive as a “cheap for what it does” option, which of course matters alot for PvP than it does for PvE. If a Thunderchild cost half as much as a Leshrak to build and fit, that would be a fair tradeoff for the loss in raw combat power.

A fourth possibility (and my preferred one, to be frank- though it would be the more difficult of the possibilities to do) is to expand their shipline to match the Triglavians. Introduce Tech 2 vessels with better role bonuses that do any of the above things. All of them would be cheaper than their tech 1 variants due to the nature of invention (since the bulk of the tech 1 costs are in the datacasters needed to acquire the BPC, turning 1 T1 BPC into multiple T2 BPCs would dramatically lower the cost of the T2 items, despite higher material costs), and better role bonuses or access to unique modules would give each variety of ship a use case. Frigates could be excellent ewar platforms. Destroyers could wipe groups of drones or frigates in a brawl. Logi cruisers would have a very specific niche against smartbombs or other EDENCOM vessels (or just big crazy brawls with people shooting everywhere in general), of course HACs/HICs do their thing. Battlecruisers could be cheap platforms for the large Vorton projectors or very durable command cruisers. And of course, a Marauder variant of a Thunderchild would be straight up competitive with other Marauders for any variety of ratting with basically no other changes (the marauder role bonus + bastion module, alone, is enough to make the Large projector viable as a weapon). A Dread could likewise be an absolute menace in fights between capitals. And thats without considering any unique mechanics outside of the obvious “multi-logi” one. What if one of these ship variants applied to more targets? Fewer targets? A controlled set of targets instead of random? There’s so many possibilities with T2 variants. Of course, this is of the options the most difficult to execute because it would require someone to go through and create all of these things. Which is much more costly than having a guy quickly change a handful of numbers around.

In any case, I think its plainly obvious to see that EDENCOM vessels are not in a good place. They are both more costly than all of their contemporaries for frankly ridiculous reasons, and are not in any way competitive with any other vessels in the game except in quite literally 1 or 2 specific scenarios and nowhere else.

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Wall of text… any TL:DR ?

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They are too expensive for their performance, because the parts you need only spawn from a very small amount of rats.

Simple Fix: Add the EDENCOM manufacturing parts to the Abyssal Loot Tables, so they can drop in T5/T6 as well from Biocaches. Would significantly bring down their price and thus the production costs of EDENCOM Vessels and Modules, bringing them more in line with the Trig ships. Drop Rates can be adjusted based on what the pricetag will look like after a few weeks.

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I will inform the people that I see using them that they are actually unusable and they need to stop

It’s also not profitable to farm these sites I can do it in a bomber but its like 50mil/h, if they however dropped these parts from every edencom ship instead of just the haulers this wouldn’t be a problem.

It’s also not worth giving up edencom standings for this terrible farm, the t2 salvage is also not worth it as each ship drops very little t2 salvage even if you farm them with a maruader you get more t2 salvage just doing relic sites which you can do in a much cheaper ship.

On top of it my bomber has to make 3 trips back into the site to collect the loot becuase its so freaking heavy wasting a ton of time.

In most scenarios yeah, they’re either unusable entirely or just not even remotely close to competitive with ships that simulatneously cost less, are less of a headache to acquire or use in general, and are actually usable in hisec. Though in low/null the Thunderchild is safer than Marauders to use since they aren’t limited by a bastion module.

Skybreakers are actually completely useless for anything but zapping drones. They simply cannot compete with any other frigate. Most frigate fights are extraordinarily close range, which means a Skybreaker is teamkilling half the time in precisely the large battles that are necessary for its gun to actually keep up with typical frigate weapons. In small battles, it just doesn’t have the damage. For ratting? Don’t make me laugh. Who the hell is going to spend nearly a full half a billion for a ship that can barely do L1/2s, let alone anything capable of paying back its cost.

Stormbringers, as said, are the only hull in the line that find any actual use. Mostly because of Abyssal filaments, and even then only when in (usually multiboxed) groups. In PVP they suffer the same issues, and for most forms of ratting they don’t have the damage output to do the sites that make relevant amounts of money. Not to mention their exorbitant ammo costs 6,000 isk per shot, and thats if you yourself are making it from scratch; including invention. For Thunderchilds its even worse, at 10k isk per shot when fabbing it yourself. As with everything else EDENCOM, ~70% of that cost is in Triglavian Transconduit Datacasters needed just to acquire the T1 BPC you have to invent from. Don’t even talk about the T1 ammo, which costs even more for the exact same reason. Same exact cost to acquire the BPC, except you get only 10 runs out of it instead of ~126 when turning that t1 bpc into 9-ish 14 run T2 ones (due to the extremely high cost-per-attempt, attainment is the best decryptor for this ammo).

Suffice to say, yes. If you see someone running one of these ships anywhere, 99 times out of 100 they’re wasting their time and money both.

Just dropping this here. If you’ve ever been in one of these fleets, they’re hilariously efficient with a good FC.

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Not to mention people rat in them with a bonce alt.

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Well, I’d say fleet them up! I would give their weapons the dmg output of whatever suits your fancy, but give them the added ability to “boost” or “charge” the shield booster/passive shield recharge/capacitor recharge of friendlies in the same line of ships - when they are hit by each others weapons. You are in a fleet of 10 ships, firing and hitting everything in sight with your weapons, have it give a benefit when those ships strike each other but still do dmg to enemy ships at the same time. Maybe lower the damage VS one another, (when in fleets together) or get rid of the friendly fire dmg completely while still making the “boosted recharging” capability stick for “X amount of seconds/period of time”, and then just fade away like suspect timer if no additional weapons are fired or ships struck. You could have it change dmg to different people - friendlies or enemies based on your SAFETY setting. Yellow: everything except friendlies is being HURT by your weapons. RED: Sorry Jim, I know you were in my fleet but you were in the way and you should have moved your ass! Lol.

That sounds like it’d be pretty cool to me!
Thoughts?

Hey there, as Main Producer of Thunderchilds i am fully aware of the State of the Farmed Resources for the Production Line for the Thunderchilds. And they are good atm.

Also as Leader of the EDENCOM Defensive Initiative Alliance, we also use Thunderchild in our Fleets.

I dont see the point you wrote here, regarding the usability and the DPS and Weapon Modification (Invented by you).

At the Moment a T2 Vorton Thunderchild can deal up to 4.200 DPS (With Electropunch) depending on how the Ships are standing around.

If you are not able to Fire ina group of enemys with a vorton, you are doing it wrong. Single Application is not recommended and was not always the main intention of this Weapon.

The Most improtant thing is here, that most of the Thunderchild pilots have the licence for flying one ship of this class, but not the education to fly it correctly. That result most in some loss of the vessel, and we dont like that.

And as an Insider Information, i repeat, i do not share this anywhere else again here. There is a Drone Combination which unlocks a "Master"Mode. Where i do know that… well written in 2007, and i can’t even remember the setup.

But for the People, who thinking, yeah, this guy is freaking nuts in his head. Just try to make an EDENCOM Alliance, you wont be able to. Not in capital letters, and not with the Word EDENCOM on it.

There is only exact 1 of it. Thats the origin, there you should investigate. Our discord is reachable. And what i would like to see is something of endgame szenario like this one here…

The Triglavian Threat was designed as an “OMG-We have to put down the server, scenario”, where you fight until end against the blob of Triglavians. Because you dont want to fight some friends you know.

And yes - This scenario is currently delayed, its not on hold, its just delayed. When jita 4-4 falls, you will see what i mean :wink:

Just my 2 Cents.

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ahh, and i am pretty sure, you dont know even the right ammo type and its features.

I am well aware of how the ship’s function. With 3 T2 tuning systems and a T2 gun with T2 ammo and max skills, they can do 459 damage max (and against most battleship-level rats, they get that; cruisers tend to be around half damage, frigates maybe like 10% damage- varies a bit, of course, depending on faction and circumstance). With 4 damage mods that goes up to 487 max.

Of course, that’s only against 1 target. If you’re hitting 2 targets, that doubles. 3, it triples, etc.

The problem is that only very rarely happens. When rats initially spawn in to a site they’re clumped up, but nearly all rats in the game have props they use to burn to into their preferred fighting ranges. Unlike players, rats are very very good at spreading themselves out and ending up all over the place. Frigates do tend to stick to a close bubble around their target since frigate guns are usually very close range- but a thunderchild applies barely 10% damage to frigates, which isn’t 0 but also isn’t very much at all. Takes absolutely forever to kill a pack of sleeper frigates, only slightly less time thant it would take to smartbomb them down with a single smartbomb (and of course more when using multiple, as most of the ship’s competitors do) and it has to stop shooting other rats to do that.

The result is that for the vast majority of most sites in the game, you’re gonna end up only ever hitting 2, maybe 3 rats with your gun. Which considering the ship costs as much as a Marauder to fit out, means you’re severely underperforming compared to other ships of the same cost. As stated in the OP, the Sansha Haven specifically is one of the few exceptions thanks to the unique nature of the space objects at the center of that site- and ratting those havens with a Thunderchild is plenty viable, if only barely.

In PvP, droneballs basically ensure that Thunderchilds are hitting on average 1-2 actual ships, which means a marauder-cost ship is doing barely a third the overall damage of a marauder for the first 2-3 minutes of a fight while the drones slowly plink down. Worse still, if the fight turns into a brawl at any point the ships start friendly firing- meaning the best answer to them is always to just get in close during those 2-3 minutes while your droneball protects you and laugh as you inevitably win the damage race. Doesn’t help that their high damage ammo is short range at 40km, and the ships are slow as beans- their long range ammo has pitifully low damage compared to every other long-range weapon, and isn’t really worth using pretty much ever.

Even worse still, in PvE specifically, rats usually pack some amount of both local and remote logi and unlike players don’t need broadcasts or whatever to spread their reps. Meaning that the thunderchild’s damage is being disproportionately affected by local logi compared to other guns, reducing its already bad damage per second even further.

The ship is borderline unusable. Period. End of story.

The state of the farmed resources for the Thunderchild is NOT good. The only way to farm them consistently is to form a large fleet to do the dangerous sites in trig owned minor victory systems- and pray you don’t get caught and PVPd out, or that you aren’t beaten to the punch by another fleet. Those sites don’t respawn but once an hour, too, which means everyone in the fleet has to be willing to spend very very long periods between fights for very low payout relative to most other activities. You could try going to Pochven, but shooting trigs in pochven and on the j/k-space side of holes in pochven (and ONLY trigs drop what is needed) is a bad idea since it’ll make you red to them and unable to dock in stations and also get shot at by trig guns on gates. Unless you kill your isk/hr even more to also shoot edencom rats or neutral rats in-between sites. And, again, you need fleets for most of these activities, only a couple can be done in small groups and all of Pochven is functionally nullsec and is thus very, very dangerous to rat in without lots of people to help cover your ass. Its an absolute headache and the reason those stupid datacasters are so exorbitantly expensive. They’re basically monopolized by the people who live in Pochven and the small groups that actually managed to form fleets for those activities, all because its such a headache to get into and the ships are so absolutely godawful otherwise that noone wants to bother competing.

As stated in the OP, Stormbringers do thankfully see some viable use in PvP and Abyssals, thanks to the better application of their guns letting them kill frigates and drones easily and therefore compete with other similarly costed ships in terms of damage- not to mention that being cruisers they are actually mobile and capable of using the positioning required to force rats or pvp opponents into the necessary formations to actually make use of their guns. Something the slow, clunky thunderchild just cannot do.

The Skybreaker suffers a different problem entirely- frigate battles are always very, very close range. Which means the vast majority of the time you’re going to be shooting your own allies or their drones and doing more self-harm than good, and obviously its atrociously bad compared to other frigates in smaller fights- it needs lots of targets in a big fight to be viable competitive with similarly costed T2 frigates and in exactly that scenario it’s just absolute dogwater due to friendly fire (or it just gets blapped cuz its 1 versus many)

Also, these ships didn’t exist in 2007. So I have no clue what crack you’re smoking about a “master” mode. To be honest your reply reads as a really bad attempt to spread intentional misinformation.

The edencom ship line is quite usable, just not solo in most cases - are they even supposed to ? The same is true for any ewar and any logi ship, or even a stealth bomber, isn’t it ? They function in fleets, however, as intended.

There are players like that. And I like that the ship is expensive, ratting with Skybreaker is like showing off in your street with Lamborghini. (It also feels good to gank them haha.)

But afaik, the prices of ammo are too high, so the ratting with it is really just inefficient.

It may be expensive to buy ammo but its cheap to make the ammo.