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.
- 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 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.