Black Ops - no covert cloak

I’m sure that plenty of new players read about Black Ops and get disappointed when they realise they can’t use CovOps cloaks.

Honestly, I thought CCP would have changed this decision a decade ago - the original stealth bombers were garbage with the default cloak+speed boost combo simply because people seeing you on DScan/grid meant doing your job was almost impossible unless the target was AFK (which negates the point of a covops ship).

What are the balance reasons BLops can’t use Covert Ops cloaking devices?

Because you know it makes sense, can’t have that.

balance reasons, T2-ish resists on a battleship combined with battleship DPS is too much for something that can warp while cloaked. Cloaky power creep is already at a stupid place – not as stupid as it used to be, mind you, but still stupid overall with T3C’s.

The effective AFB speed while cloaked is a decent enough compromise – you are still hard to catch if they didn’t see you cloak, but without the full cloaky mobility.

There are some thematic reasons for SoE and T3C’s to be most effective for the cloaky ships, but from a gameplay standpoint they really do more harm than they help. Even putting Cov Ops on cruisers was basically deemed a mistake, yet the proliferation of them made it near impossible for CCP to effectively un-do it.

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balance reasons, T2-ish resists on a battleship combined with battleship DPS is too much for something that can warp while cloaked. Cloaky power creep is already at a stupid place – not as stupid as it used to be, mind you, but still stupid overall with T3C’s.

Cloaks have been nerfed into the ground. It wouldn’t hurt to let Black Ops covops about the place.

Yeah get rid of the delay from decloak to being able to target. That would b good. Or just allow covert ops cloak. Im easy

FWIW i don’t fly BLOPs - but i skilled for them a long time ago expecting them to be un-nerfed at some point and become more useful.

Compared to other BS, their combat ability is basically identical to a T1 battleship. Same slots, slightly better resist, worse fitting. If we where to compare them to a Marauder, it’s not even close. BLOPs seem much more like Combat Recons which are just EWAR cruisers, and the recon part is entirely redundant because they are back-line ships.

Not sure adding covops cloaks would be a bad thing - being a weaker combat ships vs other T2 options (or faction options) so they can roam more freely around hostile space.

Black ops battleships are special:

  • They move much faster while cloaked than decloaked.
  • They can immediately target ships after decloaking, like only bombers can do.
  • They can fit regular cynos, like only recons can do.
  • They can move around much safer than any other ship in the game with covert jump drive.
  • They have much more health than any other cloaky ship in the game

Black ops battleships have many strengths, being unable to warp while cloaked gives them a unique downside compared to the other cloaky ships.

These ships would be completely overpowered if they were able to jump in unseen, warp cloaked to a victim, decloak, immediately target the victim without targeting delay and either kill or light a cyno for the capital escalation.

You can do something similar right now, but it requires a step in between: because the blops cannot approach unseen (warp cloaked) another covert ops ship is required to do the job of the initial tackle, which are ships with their own balanced choice of ups- and downsides:

  • bomber
    – good: instant targeting;
    – bad: paper tank
  • recon/t3c
    – good: medium tank;
    – bad: targeting delay

While it’s easy to catch someone in a bomber, the victim can often kill the bomber fast. It’s much harder to kill a covert ops cruiser when you get tackled, but as victim you have much more (5-6s) time to react before you get tackled by one of those.

The only thing that stops black ops battleships from being an effective hunter is that they cannot warp onto you unseen, otherwise we’d have:

  • blops
    – good: instant targeting, stronger tank, high damage, jump drive;
    – bad: ??

Apart from the price tag these ships wouldn’t have a downside compared to other covert ops ships.

It simply would be too strong.


You kinda explained why covops cloaks wouldn’t be overpowered.

BLOPs aren’t actually any better in a fight than their T1 versions. But they cost 3-4 times more for the hull alone.

In real scenarios all the benefits that you’ve listed don’t actually come into play, because no one is actually flying BLOPs around like a normal ship. The covert jump bridge is the only reason they are used.

It reminds me of pre-buff titans which where mostly garbage 1-trick ponies that were useless in a fight. Just useful power-projection tools with no real reason to fly them apart from waving your giant space phallus around.

Covert ops cloaks are overpowered without targeting delay.

Most ships however have a targeting delay after decloaking, which allows people to respond if they’re paying attention. Most ships, except bombers and blops.

The only reason bombers aren’t overpowered is that they’re made of paper and that most ships can deal with a solo bomber decloaking on them.

Black ops battleships have no targeting delay after decloaking either, and they’re much more dangerous in combat. The only thing that stops blops battleships from decloaking on their targets and instantly tackling them, is that blops cannot warp cloaked, so it’s hard to get in range of a target unseen.

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Their jump drive, not only the bridge, is also a good reason to use blops.

While I mainly use my own blops battleships to bridge bombers around, I’ve seen more than a few people hunting ships with their blops and tackle.

It’s a multiboxing playstyle (or two people working together) where one character attempts to get tackle, lights the covert cyno and the blops jumps instantly into the fight to bring more damage and/or neuts.

Or the blops grumps in with a bunch of bombers and cruisers for even more dps. (No idea if it’s universal, but ‘grumping’, group jumping, is how my group calls conduit jumping.)

There’s multiple options for blops to fight that doesn’t involve playing bridge only.

Are BlackOps really used for anything else than ganking people via covert-bridge? I don’t think that giving them a Covert Cloak would really change that much. In 99,953439%* of all cases it isn’t the cloaking ability that makes them strong or weak in the specific situation.

*rough estimate

Well in any situation where you don’t need their jump bridge or jump drive, a T1 battleship would be a lot more cost-efficient.

Yes, I’d agree that black ops battleships are mostly used in situations where you can use their jump drive and bridge. The cloak is a nice bonus.

Using the current cloak speed bonus is mostly to let you insta-warp but as it’s been said, no one actually uses BLOPs like a normal ship. They use the bridging to gank then leave.

When you say bridge, do you just mean the bridge module or also the jump drive?

Bridging, jumping and then quickly killing people you catch before disappearing again is kind of the intended role of these ships.

I don’t know if it’s the sole intended role however. That’s all they do.

The lack of covops cloak or other normal t2 ship benefits means that BLOPs are used exclsuviely for this.

I’m not saying make them BETTER at other stuff - but the addition of a covops cloak might allow them to bridge/jump in and spend time behind enemy lines causing issues… instead of jumping in, ganking, leaving and not being used otherwise.

You can go behind enemy lines causing issues without the ability to warp cloaked though.

Even though blops cannot warp cloaked, they can do a lot of cloaky stuff that many ships cannot do, like warp immediately out of cloak, easily run out of a camped gate under cloak, shoot immediately after decloaking…

This video comes to mind of Bjorn in his Panther:

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So uh… 1 billion isk ship. 10 billion isk cloaking device.

No tackle.

Can’t fight a cruiser or a BC.

Can’t kill a mining barge before it warps.

What exactly is he doing that couldn’t be done better by a Force Recon? And for a fraction of the price? At least the recons can fit extended range tackle and EWar.

That 10 billion ISK cloaking device isn’t necessary, you’d do fine with a 30M faction version.

Also, if you think a force recon is better at that gameplay, or if a T1 battleship is better for your gameplay like you said earlier, why not use those for your gameplay?

I like my blops as it is, useful, unique and strong, but not overpowered.

A covert cloak on that ship would make the gameplay of that ship less unique (same as recon cruisers, except battleship size) and also overpowered (due to all the other strengths like no targeting delay, ease of getting away with jump drive, etc.)

BLOPs are unique for sure. Strong is subjective, useful is also subjective.

The most important thing they can do i send other better ships into combat.

You linked a video to argue your case where this T2 battleships couldn’t take a straight fight with a cruiser… and died to a gatecamp within 1 hour. Losing billions of isk.

BLOPs aren’t even close to being overpowered. Without the covert jump bridge they wouldn’t even be used at all for anything more then meme’ing.

You keep mentioning that blops send other ships into combat.

Have you ever considered using the jump drive offensively? The blops can send itself into combat anywhere within 8 light years.

You don’t need a covert ops cloak to sneak up on some Ishtar if you have a friend in a bomber who can sneak up to it for you, light a cyno and let you jump right on top of that Ishtar in your blops.

Blops battleships are made for multi-character gameplay. Either you play with some friends or multibox to make best use of their strengths.