How to fix assault frigates. My idea


(Gian Bal) #21

I love this idea about Ewar resistance.

Give all AF’s a flat out 33.3% EWAR resistance and a 3.5% Capacitor warfare resistance bonus per AF level. This would make them a fair bit harder to actually jam/TD etc. and would make them great in fleets fighting up tier because modules like TP’s which are vital for cruiser fleets to kill frig fleets would negate the effect. Also the neut resistance bonus would stack up to 17.5% neut resistance at AF level 5 which doesn’t seem much but can help incredibly when you’re flying something like a shiny shield boosting hawk or dual rep vengeance and some frigs come in with neuts.

As for OP. I agree with them needing more speed, however it needs to be tweaked for each ship. AF’s are tanky enough as they are really and the DPS is fairly decent.

Some AF’s such as the retribution and Wolf are okay but in very specific scenarios such as against other frigates that don’t have any range control in scram range (Such as punishers and other frigs with no web). This is because they have only 2 mid slots however I think instead of giving them an extra mid slot or something, you could potentially take the route of how CCP rebalanced the punisher, by giving them an extra turret hardpoint instead of a utility high and giving them an extra low slot. This would give them 6 low slots, allowing for an incredible armor tank and 5 turret hardpoints (May need to rebalance damage bonuses etc.). And for specific AF’s such as the wolf and retribution that struggle to compete with even ships such as kestrels in scram range, you could give them a slight webifier resistance bonus so even when you’re webbed with a T2 web, it would only web you for like 45% effectiveness, meaning if you have an AB fitted its easier for you to pull range or get closer or sig/speed tank better.


(Cade Windstalker) #22

You seem to be ignoring the solo and small-gang case in favor of a fleet-fight case that the ship doesn’t really need to fit into well. Small ship fleets are already super powerful, they don’t need a buff or a ship that negates a strong counter.

Yes, obviously, but 50m/s is a pretty good baseline if you compare the speed of various AFs to other Frigates and Destroyers.

Anything can be good if you tailor the scenario to it, the general problem AFs have is that they’re not good enough in the majority of situations or against the majority of ships and fits they can actually expect to face.

You’re not going to speed-tank another Frigate generally speaking, and on anything with turrets you’re going to tank your own ability to hit along with whatever you’re fighting against.


(Erethond) #23

I was responding to this:

Long range with larger sig (which AF would get from running the mwd) is what destroyers do compared to frigates.

Generally, I agree that it’s not easy to find the sweet spot, but fast and tackling are taken by interceptors, slow, big and long range is taken by destroyers, so it leaves resilient and short range, which they kind of already are, just not enough.


(Cade Windstalker) #24

High Sig radius because of an MWD is different from having an inherently large sig (and being slower) like a Destroyer is. A Dessy with an MWD running is still a significantly fatter target than an AF is.

I don’t exactly disagree, but ships don’t need to only fit one role. Inties can wolfpack, Destroyers can brawl. It’s all about how a ship does it and where its strengths lie. The main problem AFs have right now is they’re kinda meh in a lot of ways rather than being good or interesting in a few ways.


(Do Little) #25

Assault frigates were popular and very useful ships before T3 destroyers came along. They’re still as good as they ever were but the T3Ds are better.

I think of AFs as pack hunters and would like to see a squad level bonus that applies when they travel together in a fleet - similar to the old leadership bonuses. The bonus doesn’t need to be combat related - I’d rather see warp speed & acceleration so they can travel faster on a roam.

I think they would be very popular for small gang roams without reducing their current popularity as PVE ships.


(Cristl) #26

Bonuses to webs/grapplers would be too dangerous to solo balancing imo - they could get really good range control (and perhaps screw burner mission balance too).

Immunity, ie full immunity, to cap warfare could work. I don’t see that as too risky balance-wise, they’re only frigates after all: you can always just blap them.

Couple it with a small buff to base speeds, maybe some price adjustments, other minor changes and see how it goes?


(Pestilen Ratte) #27

I agree. They should be front line DPS machines that are built to assist in pvp battles.

This means they should have some kind of resistance to the sorts of threats they will face. They already have speed and sig tanking bonuses, but cap defence built in would definitely help.

I also think they should be able to fit mini grapplers.

If an assault frigate gets hold of you, it should be a big problem. You ought to have to deal with it with significant firepower, or suffer serious setbacks to your operational ability.

they might even have a mini bastion module that increases their resists and web effects for a given amount of time (90 secs) and that takes five minutes to recharge, reducing will skill. this would bring their special abilities into line with stealth bomber mechanics.


(Cade Windstalker) #28

CCP is never going to give any ship but especially not a Frigate immunity to cap warfare. As they’ve said probably every Fanfest for the last five years at least “Cap is Life”. Cap warfare is especially big in solo and small gang Frigate engagements too, to the point that quite a few AFs and other small ships have free high slots specifically for that purpose.

Basically something like this has the same problem as a tackle reduction/immunity, way too good in certain contexts.

Eh… yes and no.

The longer this debate has gone on the more I’m thinking that AFs have seen their ‘market share’ chipped away at by more than just T3Ds. T3Ds feel like they’re in a pretty good place right now, but the spaces that AFs might get into where T3Ds aren’t as dominant are mostly occupied by faster frigates or ones with specialized bonuses.

Between the rebalance of the various pirate and navy Frigates and the introduction of new ships like the Garmur or the new Navy Frigates the number of roles that AFs fill well has decreased. Especially when you consider that the frigate meta has only gotten more and more reliant on speed and range control and AFs are really slow.

This would be stupidly OP in both small ship vs small ship combat and as Heavy Tackle against larger ships. The whole reason Battleships are the only ones who can fit Grapplers even as other BS specialized modules have gotten smaller variants is because Grapplers get much much stronger the more mobility your ship has to make use of them with.


(Tornii) #29

As a long-term assault frigate enthusiast and a pilot of frigate hulls, I can think of two ways to make it competitive. The first ties in with their most recent bonus to give them a specific role, while the second transforms them into a new class that is tied to one other existing class.

Option (a) would be to give them about 75% afterburner speed bonus, which would work as another side of their existing microwarpdrive signature radius decrease bonus.

This would keep afterburner AFs slower than MWD AFs, ceptors, the Garmur and tech III destroyers, but turn them into viable heavy, brawling tacklers and increase their viable fitting options, especially for solo purposes.

Reasons to pick AFs over T3Ds (lower price, lower signature radius, survivability against scramblers) would become viable, while ceptors would still be more efficient in overall tackling role due to the tackle module range bonus, interdiction immunity and about 2000m/s faster speed.

Option (b) would be to transform the assault frigate class into a tech III frigate class, giving the ships changeable modes we are now familiar with on tech III destroyers.

T3F/T3D balance would work like that of other ships of different sizes within the same class. T3Fs would have weaker overall stats in damage, tanking and weapon range in exchange for lower price, higher speed and lower signature radius.

in relation to ceptors, this would have to be done in a way that made T3Fs better than ceptors in versatility but worse in specialisation.

In conclusion, the option (a) would obviously be easier to implement and still make AFs more viable than now, while the option (b) would demand much more developer effort but be more exciting in replacing a mostly redundant ship class with one we saw become so popular in case of T3Ds. Solo frigate pilots like me would also love the increased versatility of T3 design.


(Cade Windstalker) #30

And as a long term forum enthusiast, why on earth would you necro a month old thread?

By which you mean something completely mutually exclusive to that bonus that is pretty much strictly worse than it except while under scram pressure, and doesn’t actually fix any of the actual issues the hulls have.

Oh and they’re too slow to actually make use of it effectively in the few situations where it might be good.

This isn’t accurate. Out of the four T3Ds only the Hecate has a MWD specific propulsion mode bonus. The Svipul and Confessor have a 66.6% bonus to both MWD and AB velocity and the Jackdaw just has a blanket 33% speed bonus.

Is fantastically unlikely to happen since there’s very little meta space for a T3 Frigate that isn’t already taken up by either another Frigate or the T3 Destroyers.

What this would likely end up as is a Frigate that’s stepping on the toes of at least one other Frigate class in the same way the T3Ds kinda still do, by combining two or more ways the ship is worse than a pure specialist in that thing, but the combination of two or more of these makes the ship OP at a role. For example combining almost Inty speed with better than Inty DPS and Tank, or almost EAF E-War with better than EAF DPS and Tank.

In conclusion your first idea doesn’t work and your second idea doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in heck of happening and would be almost impossible to balance if it did.


(Tornii) #31

Because the thread is dedicated to a widely discussed and relevant issue - I think it is pretty self apparent and does not require smug replies. That in addition to the fact that “a month old thread” is not that old for its “necroing” to be considered wrong.

This is so full of unsubstantiated subjective claims I do not even know where to begin from. Yes, being able to escape scram pressure is a huge advantage that would mean worthy substitution to the MWD signature radius bonus for brawling fits. And yes, it would fix the issue of AFs being too slow on afterburners to work as heavy tacklers.

Which has nothing to do with the subject I raised in my sentence.

A 2000m/s less speed than interceptors is not “almost inty speed”.

My proposals did not mention a single word about E-War.


(Cade Windstalker) #32

It’s really pretty bloody old. You could have just made your own thread without all the baggage from this one, and resulting confusion for anyone new seeing it, and I don’t think anyone would have complained.

That’s not what unsubstantiated or subjective mean. If you’d read through the thread you brought back to life you’d note that AFs are, as a hull type, slower than almost any other class of Frigate or Destroyer, making a 75% bonus to AB speed of limited usefulness. You’re no where near being able to catch anything using an MWD with a bonus like that, so the only thing you’re going to be able to do with it is speed tank something that isn’t trying to run away already.

Except that the MWD bonus they already have is better for that than a 75% AB bonus if you actually sit down and do the math on how tracking works.

Oh and on top of that the hulls pretty much universally don’t have the slots to dual-prop fit and still run a decent tank or enough utility to provide effective tackle.

For reference the Succubus has a 200% bonus to AB speed and still doesn’t see much use, because it’s left in a position where it can’t catch something using an MWD and the penalties for dual-prop for anything not running dedicated heavy tackle are too much to bother with.

Also, and lastly, as Heavy Tackle most Cruisers as well as T3Ds, HICs, and even a few Battlecruisers end up being more cost effective or generally effective Heavy Tackle than an AF, because AFs are very slot limited which makes dual-prop fits impractical on most of them. The ones that can do it can’t do that and tank, which makes them extremely squishy, and the larger hulls that could be used for the role bring more other things to the table while being better able to hold a point after initial tackle has either died or been forced off.

It really does, you just said that you expected this to make AFs more survivable against scrams than a T3D, which is already generally not the case and since the T3Ds aren’t as MWD reliant as you seem to think I fail to see how giving AFs an AB bonus would improve that situation.

2000m/s than which Inty and which fit, exactly?

That vague number means basically nothing. If you’re talking about base speed then congrats, we’re already there. In fact if you compare a Hawk to a Raptor with just a MWD II fitted you’ll find that the Hawk is actually too fast, at only 1500m/s slower than the Interceptor.

Besides that what I was providing were general examples of possible combinations that might prove problematic for balance. This sort of “almost as good as while being decent at…” issue is exactly what both T3Cs and T3Ds have run into that’s made them so difficult to balance.

Again, general examples. That one was taken straight off the T3Cs pre-nerf.


(Tornii) #33

It is exactly this “baggage” that is needed in this discussion. Nothing has been changed for AFs in the game since the last post in this thread, so all this discussion is very much relevant.

It is only you complaining here.

This makes no sense whatsoever. It is exactly because they are slower than other frigates and destroyers that an afterburner bonus bringing their speed from around 1500-1800m/s to 2500-3000m/s would make them much more useful than now.

No part of my post said the proposed afterburner bonus would be aimed to work for dual-prop fits necessarily. The above-mentioned gain in speed would work on afterburner-only fits much better than these fits work now.

Just because they are used more frequently due to other factors does not mean opening up that role for AFs would not work for some players/groups, especially when factors like price, absence of bubbles in lowsec, mobility of a fleet composition, etc come into play.

It is absolutely the case for each and every MWD-fit T3D that is fit for brawling, and just becasuse some people fit afterburners instead of MWDs to their T3Ds does not mean an AB-bonused AF would not offer that advantage to those aiming to use a ship with lower price and sig radius than a T3D for brawling and close-range tackling.

That “vague” number is an average for what post-AB bonus AFs would have against MWD-fit ceptors fit for long-range tackle to take advantage of their tackle range bonus, i.e. specialised tackle vs generalist tackle point I made in the original post.

This makes no sense. If I proposed nothing that was related to E-War, what do “general” examples about E-War have to do with what I said?


(Nevyn Auscent) #34

The AB bonus was tested during the last round of changes to AF’s. It was found unbalancing.


(Tornii) #35

Thank you for that information, I must have missed that. Do you by chance remember how much of a bonus was tested?


(Nevyn Auscent) #36

Afraid not, you might be able to find it in the archived forum under the test server section


(Cade Windstalker) #37

Because most of the discussion in this thread is around a few specific ideas with only a little regarding the class as a whole.

Just wondering why you had bothered to hunt down and necro a month old thread instead of making your own.

The only way you’re going to get the average AF going at those kind of velocities with an Afterburner equipped is if you blow it up. Then maybe some bits of the ship will hit 1800m/s. A Wolf with an A-type AB and a full low rack of Republic Fleet Overdrive Injectors goes at 1511m/s and that’s one of the faster AFs.

You might get that up to 1800 with Quafe and implants, but the fit is already pretty massively impractical.

You’re still going to be running smack into the general issue with AB fits though, which is that you can’t actually catch anything with a MWD unless you dual prop or they get close to you, and even if you dual prop you still can’t catch anything with an MWD because you’re sitting in one of the worst base-speed ships in the game for your faction.

Again, see above for why that still doesn’t work. A 75% bonus to AB speed doesn’t get you anywhere near an MWD on the same hull let alone on something faster, and as I outlined in my previous post there are better options for Heavy Tackle. AFs have traditionally been solo and small fleet boats, trying to make them good Heavy Tackle is kinda missing the point. There are plenty of options for Heavy Tackle that will either live longer or be more cost effective, or both.

And why, exactly, do you think that so many T3D fits run MWDs when 3 out of 4 of them can run ABs? Because in small ship combat an MWD is just vastly more useful. You seem to be both vastly over-estimating the effectiveness of this hypothetical AB fit and vastly over-estimating the effectiveness of the average AF’s sig radius compared to a T3D.

That number is magic then, because there’s a pretty decent spread of both Inty speeds and fits. On top of that you’ve crossed your streams here since the comment about combinations of traits was in response to your second idea, but you’ve gone and brought the magic 2000m/s from the first part into it.

Oh and on top of that you seem to be massively overestimating the speed of AFs as they currently stand, or under estimating the speed of Interceptors, considering an AB fitted AF fit for speed and nothing else isn’t even going to get to within 2km/s of an Inty with just a T2 MWD, and a 75% bonus is not going to make an AF fast enough to catch an actually fitted Inty.

It’s a bonus that’s been on half the T3 ships in the game, and it’s not unreasonable to put it on a hypothetical T3F, unless you just literally meant take the T3D modes and put them on the T3Fs in which case my questions are: “What’s the point in that?” and “What on earth makes you think CCP would do something that pointlessly boring?”

The problem with AB speed bonuses is the same one that’s kept the Sansha Frigate and Cruiser pretty firmly under-used.

If they’re strong enough to be remotely competitive with a MWD fit for solo and small gang work then they’re OP because you can tank ridiculously well with just your AB. If you nerf them down so that the tank is sane then the speed isn’t enough to actually catch anything that’s MWD fitted.

Now that Nevyn has mentioned it I do vaguely recall them trying an AB bonus briefly during the iteration on AFs, but I honestly can’t recall which values specifically they tried but I want to say it was a 100-200% bonus. See above for why that didn’t work.


(Tornii) #38

This is a bizarre statement that says nothing while trying to look otherwise. There are 37 posts in this discussion, some touching upon the AF class, some modules proposed by their authors, etc. And even if it was about “a few specific ideas”, there is nothing that says that point of view for AF rebalance is not valid.

Because I prefer to use threads that already feature ideas and discussion than spam a new thread every time I want to talk about something. People can go back and see other ideas floated by other people, and reusing threads also makes any subject more comprehensive to look up in the future. Should be common sense.

Firstly there is such thing as module overheating. Secondly, we are talking about close range brawlng, which will itself mean those speeds will not be attained in close orbit. Those figures are general specs for illustrating the idea of the proposed AB bonus - devs could make the bonus higher or lower, so I do not see the point in arguing specific figures when it is the idea that is discussed here.

And that, in part, is because an AB fit will not get you to speeds required to get to a target, and which is exactly why this bonus is proposed for AFs here.

I made it pretty clear in the original post that the combination of traits would still see distinction between ceptors and AFs:

No, I made no specific proposals on what mode bonuses T3Fs should get. My proposal was to make them versatile using the T3 system - what specs exactly they would use for that versatility is another matter. They do not have to get the same E-War or other bonuses as T3Ds do.

I am not sure what range of speeds would fall into the vague “remotely competitive with an MWD” category, but that is what testing is for. If that is what they tested and thought it was unbalanced, then yes.


(Cade Windstalker) #39

You’re the one who provided those numbers, not me, and you set 1500 as the lower bound. You’re also the one who’s been arguing specific figures for the last two posts and has taken issue with me presenting general examples.

Your idea of how fast AFs go now, and how fast they would go with your proposed changes, is off. Simple as that.

Again, I gave two examples of why the general concept has issues and why trying to fit another T3 hull into the crowded small-ship meta is likely to have issues. It’s not just those two combinations of bonuses, it’s the general problem of a ship that’s very good at one thing while still being decent at several others.

It’s non-specific but not vague. There’s a very clearly defined set of bonuses for both MWDs and ABs. If an MWD provides enough of a speed multiplier that it’s competitive in raw speed with an MWD then the ship tanks way too well, and the range at which it tanks way too well starts well below the point where it even starts to get competitive with a MWD for raw speed.

For reference look at a Succubus Frigate. 20% per level bonus, or 100% at level 5 Caldari Frigate, and it’s still 1300m/s slower with an AB than a MWD. That’s still not enough for the ship to see much use or be particularly good.

Which brings us back to my original issue from my original response to your original post. A 75% bonus to AB speed bonus isn’t enough to be useful, if you make it enough to be useful it’s OP. In order for it to be enough to be useful it has to provide enough raw speed to be useful in the same ways as a MWD, namely chasing down MWDing targets.


(Tornii) #40

Yes, and I never said those were specific numbers and not approximations/generalisations.
And how could I have provided a specific number when we are talking about eight ships with different stats?

I do not see a single statement from me in the two posts where I argued for specific numbers to be applied to these ships. This is the only paragraph where I note numbers related to the proposal:

This looks like anything but arguing for specific figures.

This is not fitting another T3 hull into the crowded small-ship meta, this is taking an already existing small-ship class and turning it into a universal class, while other tech II frigates are all specialised and thus not overlapping with the proposed T3Fs.

Not at all - we are talking about brawling AFs here. You would only need to get in scram range with an AB-fit AF, not kite MWD targets. I never proposed a ship that can chase down/kite MWD ships with AB. And dual props would not be viable for these ships, as I think you said yourself during this debate.