Brainstorming Blackops gameplay: How can it evolve and improve?

Black ops as a whole, not just the ship class, is stagnant and lacking.
The playstyle is underutilized outside of bomber runs and the occasional pubstomp drops here and there.
Looking at the current KBs, blops battleships have the most presence on kills of explorers, ratters and indies.

But how can we evolve and improve the gameplay? how can we bring more players to it, and how can we make it more lucrative to try out?

One of the major issues is the black ops battleships, which are often outshined and outperformed by most ships, both similar size and smaller these days.
as a whole, blops are expensive, prone to tight- and restrictive fitting options and hotdrop operations are gimped by the mechanics of the jump bridge.
Of course we also have the widow, which have become even less used with the latest changes and constant nerfs to ECM.

I’ll throw out some points and following ideas to some of the issues i have experienced and observed.

Covert jump bridge
The fuel used for the bridge is calculated on the mass of jumping ships, and the mass multiplier for the covert bridge is higher than that of the titan.

This results in that the armor tanked covert ships often gets benched in favour of their shield brothers.

*My proposal(s) (not all should go together, and some should be considered mutually exclusive, but it’s nice with several options to pick from) *

  • Reduce the mass multiplier (or completely remove it from the covert bridge)
  • Make the covert bridge use a set amount of fuel based on ship class rather than mass
  • increase the blops fuel bay from 1250m3 to 1500m3 (or 2000m3 for a dream scenario)
  • a low mass covert-bridgeable industrial with no cargohold, but a dedicated fuelbay

Fitting is quite tight on most of the blops, and faction/ded modules are more the rule than the exception. along with fitting modules often being seen on some of the ships.
The bridge bitch is especially prone to the tight fitting.

I don’t know exactly how much CPU or PG would be realistic to add though.

While it makes sense that they are making compromises in order to have a jumpdrive and the capability of bridging, then their tank is fairly undertuned, especially in the EVE of today.
They often sit at close to 10k less base EHP than their t1 variant, and even more compared to their navy counterparts.
This is also one of the, if not the only t2 ship that doesn’t get a proper ‘‘t2 resistance’’ increase or profile, even the industrials get this.

my proposal

  • give the blops proper t2 resist profiles
  • Make the cloaked speed a role bonus (and possibly reduce it), and make the skill bonus a flat % increase to either raw armor/shield HP or resistances.
  • while we’re talking skills anyway, turn the ‘‘skirmish’’ skill bonuses (and ECM for the widow) in to damage application skills bonuses akin to the redeemer.

The widow
The ECM changes have made the widow more or less obsolete in relation to its original design.
There is no reason to fit EWAR at the current moment, simply due to the fact that you give up tank, on an already paper thin ship, in order to become the only target the enemy can shoot at.
The discussion on whether it could become relevant again if we allowed it to disable fighters without becoming the only target have been around for some time, but i simply see this as a too niche application to be added to an already niche application area. (niche-ception).


  • give the widow combat bonuses instead of ECM bonuses (goes hand in hand with the proposed damage application skill bonus earlier mentioned)

other proposals to further the black ops/clandestine/blopsdrop playstyle

  • Make covert ops cynos lightable in highsec; this does not only add more options variety for players to engage in PVP in high-sec, but also gives gankers a new and different way of doing their thing.
  • introduce a line of covert cruisers that’s more combat focused than the support ships we have today
  • a proper covert ops logistics ship, like jesus christ CCP, give logi pilots other options to engage in this playstyle that doesn’t involve subpar t3 fits or three digit billion cost AT ships, which gets canned anyway because people would rather bring more damage due to the shitty mass multipliers from the bridge. adding this along with changes to the covert bridge would mean that blops crews would engage in more risky and larger fights
  • reduce the cost of black ops battleships, they are currently at a fitted price where you might as well dump a HAW dread or carrier with support if you’re gonna light a cyno anyway.

I hope there’s gonna be some feedback, and i would like to hear your ideas and thoughts on how we can further clandestine warfare as a viable playstyle, and how we can make blops battleships fit better and be more competitive in the current EVE and its meta.

Allowing cynos in highsec will probably never happen as people will find ways to exploit it to their benefit also giving covert ships proper t2 resists has been put down before in EVE element of surprise is huge you decide when to attack and how so it falls on you to pick the moment your target is weakest.As for logi I’ve seen t3 cruiser fleets dropped in by blops bridge that had dedicated logi t3 and they did fine fighting normal subcaps response fleets.
Essentially you have to accept you fly covert ships you play for the ambush move not for outlasting normal ships in a brawl

The main problem with Blops (or any covert activity) is old as EvE itself - cant do it covertly with local being free perfect intel tool.



t3 logi in general, requires fairly expensive fits in general to function optimally, and the idea of a dedicated covert logi is meant to be complementary to the battleship, as their tank is weak in general, even when buffer tanked. the t3 cruisers compete tank-wise with a blops.
The idea is to establish more grid presence of the battleships, instead of them just being the bridge bitch for fleetwork.

I’m not asking for them to engage in prolonged fights, but with the state of low/null in EVE, fights can and will escalate, often with capital, which could be tied to the targets most present on the KB (miners, ratters, explorers).

I’ve been engaging in this playstyle more or less since i started eve, so i know about the whole ambush part, how and when to do it.
It doesn’t change the fact that one of the key ships in the whole concept is outdated, and undertuned compared to the general competition.
And as i mentioned, with the current state of affairs and prices, you can drop a HAW dread with support at the same price as a blops, but with more power projection.
as par todays eve, you often either drop to overkill en masse, or don’t do it at all.

sidenote: please spend 2 minutes formatting your post, it was messy and annoying to read.

There’s plenty of content to be harvested, especially in LS against roaming players; local doesn’t quite have the same effect there as in null (even though i do agree that local can be annoying).

As I have never really glanced into Tech II Battleships, Marauders and Black Ops ships I cannot say something constructive on your proposition, so I will abstain.

However, I’d like to come back on your idea of giving more choice to a Logistics pilot. I am one myself, and currently it’s true we don’t have much choice.

Currently, I feel like a logistic pilot only have three options :

  • Logistic Frigates for small fleets where a Cruiser wouldn’t keep up with the rest of the fleet.
  • Logistic Cruisers for pretty much every subcapital engagement that doesn’t require quick movement of the fleet.
  • Force Auxiliaries for capital fights.

And that’s it. T1 ships are pretty much a joke, because the frigates are okay, but since Logistic Frigates are small-sized ships, they can be trained into way more easily than the cruisers counterparts.
That’s my opinion, but I feel like T1 Logistic Cruisers are just a flying joke. They have way less fitting room, and their capacitor use is way too high to be effective.

Having more choices would be good, and finally giving a cloak to this line of ships would be great for wormholes.

I’ve always felt that the Widow was the odd BlOps out given that it was the only one of the bunch focused on eWar. Given the recent ECM changes, I feel like it should either be redesigned as a pure combat ship like the other BlOps, or swap out one of its missile bonuses for a tank bonus so that it can better make use of its ECM.

I could also get behind pushing the cloaked maneuverability bonuses into a flat role bonus per ship and then opening up that bonus slot for something more useful. Maybe a further reduction in jump bridge fuel usage per level? (This would eliminate the need for a larger bay or a dedicated hauler.)

No to cynos in hisec, even covert ones. As cool as it would be, we need cyno-free zones.

T3 cruisers already do covert combat and logi fairly well, and when you look at the cost of fitting a Recon (or any other T2 cruiser), they aren’t crazy expensive either. Covert ships aren’t supposed to be as tough as frontline combat ships like HACs, they’re more like skirmishers or hit-and-run fleets. Having said that, a dedicated covert logistics ship that isn’t a T3 cruiser would be a welcome addition.

The problem with black ops is that they have incoherent bonuses/roles, based on obsolete design. CCP figured out a long time ago that stealth bombers with non-covert cloaks were trash, but they apparently didn’t get the point with black ops. So you waste a ship bonus on a cloaked movement speed buff that is about as worthless as you can get, and then that cloak is used to put them into a “stealth” role and justify giving them poor combat stats. So you have a ship that is obscenely expensive and poor in combat and then you wonder why they’re rarely used for anything but loading up on cargo expanders and opening bridges from an alt account? Even on the rare occasion that people decide to take them into combat it feels less like “covert black ops sneaky stuff” and more “my carrier/dread magically doesn’t care about cyno jammers”.

As far as a fix goes, black ops need covert ops cloaks and a major price drop to give you incentive to take them along with the fleet instead of keeping them on a bridge alt.

This is really change #1. They should have backed this out as soon as they realized that there really was a counter and the BLOG was wrong in October.

Second I would say is just as simple, set all combat capital ships to Banned in Empire Space = True.

If they did these two things it would revitalize BLOPs and lowsec.


They deliberately avoided cov ops cloak for battleships many times just so you know it’s not an oversight

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It’s a deliberate choice not to give them covert ops cloaks. It’s a really stupid choice built on a hopelessly obsolete idea of how EVE is played and it needs to change just like it did for stealth bombers.

It’s an obsolete concept at this point of the game.

Just like not giving black ops battleships t2 resistances. the cruisers get it at full extent. the frigates get some, albeit not a lot, but still higher additional resistances than the battleships.

At this point, black ops is probably the only ship class (or ship for that matter), that haven’t really had any remakes or balancing passes done to them, despite being direly needed.

It’s such an underused ship class, that there’s probably more operational titans than there’s black ops.

Indeed, the ECM changes were a mistake, and they should honestly look at the falcon while they’re at it as it suffers from exactly the same issues.

As for capital ships, i might not necessarily want them to be banned from empire low, but only allow them to enter it through the gates.

T3 cruisers in general is a sensitive topic, as they were supposed to be generalists instead of specialists, but managed to be better then their t2 competitors in a lot of fields; covert ops included.
I/we use t3s as our main damage on the drops (unless it’s pure blops we drop).

But it adds more to the core idea that we need some more options in the covert line, as the blopsdrop concept is based around the battleships and bombers being the primary DPS, whereas the cruisers are all support ships and/or hunters. But frankly the battleships are at a place where it’s not worth dropping them due to cost, risk and performance (unless it’s overkill situations), and bombers might not always be the right choice due to ship size and tank.
So we’re sitting at a point where the only two viable/sustainable options for DPS are t3s and bombers.

As mentioned for a t3 cloaky logi, then they require fairly expensive fitting (IIRC, last time i brought one out, it cost 700+ mil to be anywhere near an acceptable performance), which again brings up the issue, that you really shouldn’t be needed to bring capital-fleet values, in order for a sub-cap fleet to be somewhat workable.

I somewhat agree with you here. T3s, while they’re better after they got reworked from 5 subsystems to 4, are still too powerful in some roles. They aren’t as strong as recons when it comes to pure eWar, but they provide good eWar with good DPS and excellent tank, which recons can’t do. They’re still not as strong as Logi cruisers in a non-covert setting, but they can do it in a covert configuration and run command boosts while doing it. They can’t use HIC bubbles, but they’re arguably more cost-effective than most HACs for general purpose combat (although some still have niche roles that T3s can’t effectively fill).

Having said all of that, T3s needing to be toned down somewhat isn’t necessarily motivation to buff other ships or add entirely new ship classes.

I think that’s by design. The whole point of covert ops in general is that they generally aren’t front-line combat ships (aside from T3s), they’re skirmishers and hit-and-run raiders. The only covert ships that aren’t glass cannons (relative to the rest of their class) are the T3s.

I think the issue here may be your expectations, not T3 covert logi ships. It’s easy to bling out any fit if you think you need it. It’s also easy to fit a covert T3 logi for around 500mil, which is on par with other T2 cruisers. Again, not to sound like a broken record, but covert ops ships are not meant to be as strong as front-line combat ships. If they were…why would anyone fly non-covert T2s/T3s?

And black ops. They’re definitely glass, but the cannon part? Not really. Their dps is pretty underwhelming for a battleship. So you just have a ship that isn’t good at anything except sitting in safespot as a bridge alt.

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The only remedy for the black ops ships is too increase their size so a Jump Bridge Generator and additional armor along with matching the needs discussed above can be fit. The size of the black ops ship would be smaller than the Force Aux but still larger than the current black ops hull.

Don’t sell BLOPS short.

You can also use the Widow for ship spinning.

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As long as the BLOPs fleet can be roflstommped in a heartbeat from some cap hotdrop the motivation to put together a fleet is just not there, no single buff will change that.

Making BLOPs bigger just repeats the same problem, ship creep.

It’s no wonder new users think they need a capital ship to compete, in many cases they do.

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What are you talking about?

I don’t know how you fit your logi or why you would put capital remote reps on a small cruiser but if you fit and fly them right, they are a strong force multiplier.

The t1 logi cruisers are balanced around using medium remote reps and mwds but in return gain high velocities for fast roaming skirmishes - armor or shield alike.

If you take a look at that table, you can see that the difference in rep power is small and t1 logi can be as cheap as 25 million isk with the rep power of a meta fit 400 million isk t2 logi but with speeds up to 2400m/s.