Broaden Black Ops Battleships' potential with directional scan immunity


(Chance Ravinne) #1

Over the past few years, there have been various calls to buff or rebalance Black Ops Battleships. Some pilots think they need to be more combat capable, others just want their expensive toys to hit harder. Killboards show, however, this isn’t necessary. Black Ops ships are responsible for so much carnage throughout lowsec and nulsec, it would scarcely seem like they need a boost in gank and tank potential.

And yet, something is missing. These ships, which sit at the zenith of stealth and covert ops gameplay, have gaping holes in where and how they can be flown.

  • Black Ops battleships cannot be flown (truly) solo
  • Black Ops battleships serve no serious use in wormhole space
  • Black Ops battleships are wholly reliant on their jump drives for basic use

Compare this to every other stealth-based ship in EVE and the class seems almost completely at odds with how they function. Bombers, Recons, SOE ships, and coverts T3Cs all excel solo. They operate equally well in k-space and j-space. Jumping between gates or wormholes, they actively and quietly hunt for prey. By contrast, the Black Ops is chained to its cyno scout and essentially worthless in and of itself as a hunting ship.

My proposal is simple: Make Black Ops Battleships immune to directional scan. This bonus, which was added to Combat Recons just a year or two ago, has proven to aid in stealth without making the recipient ships overpowered. It creates a dynamic where non covops-cloak capable ships can surprise an opponent, either landing on grid with reduced warning, or being on grid unexpectedly as unaware reinforcements arrive.

What would this change allow Black Ops Battleships to do?

  • Operate as heavy stealth force multipliers in wormhole space
  • Transit gates or wormholes, relying less on scouts and cynos
  • Set up traps on grid by concealing total fleet numbers
  • Become a utility ship for low-profile ratting and structure bashes

With this simple change, Black Ops battleships go from being a cyno-only, lowsec/nulsec only ship to being one that has potential uses in wormhole space, and even for PVE.

Simultaneously, this change would only marginally increase the power of existing black ops gameplay. Since directional scan immunity offers no benefit to a cloaked ship or a ship that’s just cyno’d onto grid with a target, 90% of today’s black ops pilots will be helped by this change. Current blops operations are so reliant on cloaked waiting, cyno lighting, bridging/jumping, quick ganking, etc, that there simply is no time they’re sitting anywhere in space decloaked for more than a few moments. These playstyles gain almost nothing.

What would this change not allow Black Ops Battleships to do?

  • Overpower ships it cannot already overpower
  • Catch aware enemies who have ages before a Blops can land and lock them
  • Escape dedicated combat probers hunting fleeing black ops pilots
  • Enhance existing k-space hunting gameplay

Combat Recons have proven that d-scan immunity can aid stealthy gameplay without breaking the balance of EVE. It broadened their areas of use and types of gameplay, without buffing them in a way that gave them significant combat advantages.

This bonus, which fits in with the sneaky design of their ships without the overpowering capabilities granted by covert ops cloaking, would be a perfect match for Black Ops Battleships.


(R-0-B-0-C-O-P) #2

Incoming the cries of a thousand bears.


(Scipio Artelius) #3

Yes please.

+1 bigly


(Jeremiah Saken) #4

Why everybody so scared of covop cloak on battleship?


(Matrosov Glengoski Razyashchiy) #5

This is a really good idea in my opinion. Even though I am the very definition of a null bear, black ops battleships are in a weird spot. My corp as of recent, has been using our black ops battleships and pvping with them. The huge issue with them is that with the current meta, you need a cyno. I’m hoping this idea gets some attention!


(Do Little) #6

I believe a well balanced ship should either be a specialist - excelling in one job or a generalist - jack of all trades, master of none. The black ops battle ship is a specialist and very good at its job. A precision tool.

We have a “jack of all trades” battleship - the Nestor. Giving it d-scan immunity would be interesting but probably overpowered.


(Scipio Artelius) #7

A Nestor isn’t a BLOPs Battleship. It’s totally irrelevant to the subject of this thread.


(Rek Seven) #8

This is an acceptable but personally, i feel it is an underwhelming proposal and i would want more from the class. I think that the blackops class of battleships need both of the following features to make them more useful and combat capable.

Star drive: the ability to jump to a star within jump range without the need for a cyno
Cloak speed boost: increase the cloaked velocity bonus while cloaked to 300%

If CCP is unwilling to do something like this then they really should just give battleships a covert ops cloak. After all, now that we can bridge in 1000+ dps covert ops T3C’s into a system, all arguments that a covert BS would be overpowered are now defunct.


(Dior Ambraelle) #9

Why isn’t it a BLOPs again? I mean SOE is the cloak faction, if anyone they definitely should be able to cloak a battleship. Instead we got a mostly useless remote rep bonus, that any single logi cruiser can outperform. I think the remote rep bonus on the Nestor should be replaced by a “no speed and scan resolution penalty” bonus (still no cov-ops cloak).


(Scipio Artelius) #10

Just a guess, but I assume it’s because (1) CCP weren’t looking to make new BLOPs ships when the SOE ships were introduced in 2014; and more critically (2) SOE are a humanitarian organisation.


(Jeremiah Saken) #11

That’s the main reason I don’t understand why people will think covert cloak is OP.


(Scipio Artelius) #13

BLOPs are just the same as combat recons in that regard. They cannot fit a covert ops cloak.

Giving them scan immunity would be just the same as with combat recons, only in battleships. They would still not have both d-scan immunity and a covops cloak.


(Claevyan) #14

@Chance_Ravinne I really like this suggestion. As a BLOPS pilot and a Cov Ops hunter, I would like to see where this could take a solo or small gang of BLOPS pilots in the future.

I could totally see a group of Widows in a Large FW complex waiting for unwarry prey to warp in, with Arazus there to nab them.

As it is now, battleships are really easy to run away from, or to pin down and massacre and a BLOPS is really just a slightly less tanky battleship that can jump to a cyno. It currently has no other uses. Sure, you get a speed boost but lets get real… the % bonus to your base battleship speed while cloaked is still an amazingly slow boat.


(Rek Seven) #16

How would it be OP?


(Scipio Artelius) #17

Come on. My Sin does 201 m/s cloaked.

201 man. That’s faster than a capsule. Slower than anything that would try to decloak it…but 201 man. Such power.

/s

Edit: That’s not to diminish the benefit of the speed bonus. The ability to align cloaked and then instawarp after decloaking is useful, but certainly not OP in any way.


(Claevyan) #18

I fail to grasp the OPness of this. They are still slow as ■■■■ even with the “bonus” to speed, and they have a weaker tank than their T1 counter parts. D-Scan immunity would make them more useable and less restricted.

Adding a a cov ops cloak to a Blops is far more OP than a slight speed boost while cloaked and Dscan Immunity. Also, CCP has said NO to cov ops cloaked battleships over and over again, most recently when the Nestor was released.


(Claevyan) #19

I would love to see the Nestor capable of taking a BLOPS Bridge though. It’s most likely CCP just didn’t think it would be needed or didn’t take the time to add it.

“The sisters don’t care about political boundaries as much as humanitarian aide and sometimes they need to sneak into war torn areas to do so, avoiding those elements that would rather not see the sisters helping the people said elements are trying to destroy. This is why they have the Nestor, a ship capable of jumping to a covert cyno lit by one of its smaller cousins, the Astero or the Stratios, allowing the sisters to tend to those in need as quickly as possible.”


(Frostys Virpio) #20

I’m pretty sure not being good at solo is the price you pay for the jump drive/bridge combo you get on the hull.


(Dom Arkaral) #21

Very interesting idea, it’ll certainly give blops pilots more gameplay options for sure


(May'n Nome) #22

Yes! Please!