Buff the Zealot


(James Zimmer) #1

TLDR: Give the Zealot more powergrid, a drone bay and either range or a mid in order to make it a competitive fleet ship or small gang ship.

Problem: The Zealot is extremely weak right now. It lacks the powergrid for both a decent tank and decent guns. It lacks the mids and dronebay to be a truly good small gang ship. In fleets, because it’s armor, it’s slower than most competitors. Because it has beams, it’s at a range disadvantage as well. The lack of a drone bay and dedication of lows to tank generally gives it a DPS disadvantage, and finally, anything that a Zealot can do, a Legion can do better at ~100 mil less.

Solution:

  1. More powergrid. At all level 5, it should sit in the 1700-1750 PG range without additional modules (compared to the 1475 PG it has right now). This would allow it to fit an AB, a meta 1600mm plate and T2 Heavy Beams, while forcing meaningful sacrifices in order to add additional tank or fit an MWD.

  2. Give it a drone bay. Probably 25 bandwidth, 50 bay. This would give it up to about an extra 100 DPS, making it somewhat competitive in the DPS department while keeping with the Amarr flavor of having some drone flexibility with 2 flights of lights (compared with ships like the Eagle, Muninn or Deimos).

And

  1. Option 1: Get rid of the activation cost bonus and replace it with a 5-7.5% optimal range bonus. This would extend its practical range to just under that of Caldari HACs, and would separate its role from that of the Legion.

  2. Option 2: Get rid of the activation cost bonus, replace it with a resist bonus, and trade a lowslot for a midslot. This would give it viability as a brawler/small gang ship, much like a Deimos.


(MinerArt) #2

But the Zealot is supposed to be a laser armor tank. Giving it drones would mean it would need to nerf some other aspect of it to balance. It also gets Assault Damage Controls.

It’s supposed to be a outgun or outrun unit.


(Xerxes Fehrnah) #3

I like your suggestions. The Zealot has no niche in Eve right now. It is utterly ignored. You can’t use it solo or small gang. It basically is just a really shitty cerberus. An RLML Cerb does everything better from farther away and faster without tracking issues.

Any time I see the capacitor activation cost bonus, I know that’s going to be a ship for which there is a superior choice in another race’s lineup.

No ship should have that as a bonus. Just give it the bonus as a baseline max cap and recharge rate and give the hull tracking or ROF.


(James Zimmer) #4

I don’t think it would need a nerf to keep it in line. In fact, what I’m suggesting still may not go far enough.

Using Pyfa, I’ve designed both an Eagle and a Zealot as good as I could with the same design philosophy, which is afterburners, the largest long-range guns, and max tank (minus 1 damage mod) with range and additional DPS if the slots are available. In other words, very conventional large-fleet fits. Here are the results:

Eagle / Zealot
DPS (short range T2 ammo): 554 / 472
Range (long range T2 ammo): 146+15 / 105+16.4
EHP: 103k / 70.8k
Speed: 635 / 562
Sig radius: 208 / 125

As you can see, even giving the Zealot 99 more DPS with a flight of hobgoblins, 25% more range, and freeing up a rig for more tank would still leave the Zealot only slightly ahead in terms of DPS, with less range and speed than the Eagle, and a similar tank (the Zealot having lower EHP, but also better damage mitigation with the smaller sig). I’m sure someone could design stuff that’s marginally better than mine, but I think it’s a fair comparison.

You could also argue that I shouldn’t compare the Zealot to the Eagle because they have different roles, but then what should I compare it to? Brawlers (like the Deimos) are out due to the low number of mids, and kiters (like the ONI) are out due to lack of speed.


(MinerArt) #5

That’s not how you pvp. That’s a sniper build. EM damage is horrible for pvp as it does garbage damage vs armor and structure. It’s why you fit different crystals mid battle.

Fit them both point blank smash fits.


(James Zimmer) #6

1. "That is not how you pvp."
Yes it is. For large fleet engagements, ships with turrets overwhelmingly fit the largest and longest range guns possible. It’s not correct for small gang PvP, but I’m not talking about small gang when doing this comparison.

2. "EM damage is horrible for PvP as it does garbage damage vs armor…"
This is partially true for T1 armor ships. After an omni tank is added, there is usually still a slight bump in resists where the ship has good natural resists, which means for armored ships, EM. It’s not true when we get to T2 ships. Out of the 4 factions, only the Minmatar have strong natural EM resists. EM is the second weakest resist for Gallente and Amarr armor, and there is a perfect EM hole in T2 Caldari shields.

3. "…and structure"
Structure resists are uniform, so lasers do no more or less damage than anything else given equal DPS.

4. "It’s why you fit different crystals mid battle."
The reason to fit different crystals in battle is range and DPS, not damage type. There may be some slight differences in the ratio between thermal and EM, but unless someone has a very unbalanced tank, there is almost never a reason to swap to a different crystal just to change what type of damage you’re doing.


(Shallanna Yassavi) #7

If you take away the activation cost bonus for any reason, you pretty much have to change +ROF to +damage or make the cap a lot better.

Also adding drones would make it basically N/Omen 2.0.


(Xerxes Fehrnah) #8

It should be an upgrade from the Omen and Navy Omen the same way a Cerb is an upgrade from the Caracal and the Caracal Navy.


(James Zimmer) #9

Good point on the ROF vs. damage. I wouldn’t mind seeing this with a damage bonus instead. Realistically, I imagine this will normally run with a small cap booster to keep the cap up.

I don’t think it would change it to a Navy Omen 2.0 because it will be a lot slower, so it won’t be able to play the same kiting game as an ONI.


(Shallanna Yassavi) #10

The Cerb… is essentially a straight upgrade from the Caracal and probably shouldn’t be because HAC (higher power/higher specialization).

The Zealot makes a trade-off (drones, speed, agility, sig radius) for its extra firepower and faster cap recharge, which it should.
The problem with the Zealot is: it trades too much for too little, especially when stacked against its similar-sized competitors (particularly T3s) and the big-ship meta (machs, which are about 80% as fast and can do a lot more damage). So, you can either reduce a trade-off, or change the bonuses/base stats so it can do more. Zealot (slow cruiser) vs. mach (fast battleship, also current meta) fleet ends up with the zealots not being able to control range or angular velocity, so… maybe +speed is the better choice?

As for what I’ve used the Zealot for: I used to clear refuges and dens with it. The combo of slightly higher warp speed and ROF bonus make it pretty good for that. If it gets an escalation after blazing through those, it’s good enough to clear out a Blood/Sansha 5/10 reasonably fast. I’m assuming it can also do higher sites if it wants, but… Ishtar just does that better with a somewhat higher number of APM (one sentry drone->one frigate/destroyer rat, particularly in DED sites where there are lots) and laughs at the rats’ pathetic ewar. Also Legion with higher damage output and covops cloak/nullified fit in cargo will run a higher DED site faster and get away with it in null. Edit: Oh, right. And the Legion has a utility high for probe launchers so it doesn’t have to play the scan/refit/run game.


(Sepheir Sepheron) #11

I can’t think of one good reason to fly a zealot. Used to be such a dank ship though :’(


(Gleb Koskov) #12

This might sound as sacrilege to a lot of you(no pun intended), but 800mm plates are pretty standard for most light cruisers like the omen, stratios and zealot; and really gives you the room you need to fit those powerful guns you wanted.


(elitatwo) #13

It’s not the 800mm plates per se. Those 800mm used to be intended for cruiser / battlecruiser usage but since there was so much more firepower on the field, somewhat after 2007, the 1600mm plate became more popular because the extra hp gave you some more seconds to react.


(James Zimmer) #14

The lack of powergrid is not the core issue with the Zealot. The core issue is lack of a useful role. As it stands, the Zealot doesn’t have a useful role that I’m aware of. You could find a useful role without extra grid, probably by increasing the speed a lot, and making this an advanced Omen Navy, but I felt that was less interesting than making a sniping or brawling laser boat, so I went with extra grid instead.


(Doctor Biologist) #15

Sorry to steal your thunder but Zealot buffs were already announced. It’s getting more drones.


(James Zimmer) #16

I heard that, though I haven’t been able to find the original source. I think this thread should demonstrate why a dronebay, while it may help the Zealot, will not fix it.


(elitatwo) #17

May I ask where you heard it? I saw it in the patch notes 2 days ago but you said, you heard it earlier.


(Wanda Fayne) #18

50m3 bay/25m3 bandwidth being added


(James Zimmer) #19

It was some slides that were linked on Reddit or something, I can’t remember exactly where I heard it from.

Edit: Just found it: Fozzie presentation at Eve Down Under.


(elitatwo) #20

Ah okay. Thanks!