Idea for Assault Ship rebalance

During the Fanfest “Ship & Module Balance” Roundtable, CCP Aurora said that they are not happy with how Assault Cruisers are at the moment, how they are just too good in everything, and the to go ship for fleet battles. That´s why I wanted to propose a different Idea for them, one I had back when they had the last big re-balance, but a bit more refined.
I want to split this suggestion threat into three sections, the past of Assault cruisers, my general Idea for my change, and the reasoning for it. I´m also only proposing a general idea, so no exact values, as those of course would have to be worked out carefully.


Back before the big re-balance with where the Assault DCU was introduced, Assault Cruisers got a small balance pass by increasing their cap, lock range and sensor strength, with the reasoning to make them a bit more resistant to ewar. While this idea looked good on paper, it had the downside that you now had a ship with faster locking speed, higher locking range and a cap that could easily made stable even with higher cap-usage fittings. But I guess it made them more resistant to those ewars? :sweat_smile:
Some time later a whole new stat/function got introduced into the game, ewar-resistance, which we saw applied to the marauders for example, but when it came to the HACs, the idea to make them more resistant to ewar seemed to have been forgotten?


So with that in mind, I think we could really make it an interesting ship around that.
To start out I would take the stats of their normal T1 counterparts, and reduce their speed, cap, sensor strength, lock range by 10-20%, and give them the role bonus of “+15% ewar resist for every level of Heavy Assault Cruisers” (maxing out at 75% at level 5)


You now have a ship that is a bit slower than it´s T1 counterpart, but barely can be slowed down by webs, has to think a bit more about its cap, but is hard to get neuted, and so on. By reducing the locking range dramatically you can even prevent the current sniper meta you have with them (unless the players sacrifice more slots for it), and give them the tools to actually get close and brawl it out, and still being able to get out again, as when both sides should web themselves, the HAC obviously can easily fly out of his enemies range and doesn´t get locked down.
Additionally, with their T2 resists and the ADCU they should be able to tank, and with a higher DPS than their T1 counterpart they could be able to really get close to their target, without having to fear the ewar that usually is the big problem when brawling.


Now, I of course understand that like that HACs wouldn´t be very viable for fleets, or at least not as viable as they are now, but I feel like they would be in a healthier situation than they are right now and having a specialized role (like all T2s should have), where they are simply better than their T1 counterpart in everything but the pricetag. This could also become a go to ship for solo and small scale fleets, where for large scale, other options would be more ideal, and I think the same philosophy could also be applied to the Assault Frigates.


Pretty good idea.

10 or so years ago when the rework was being planned, I recall suggesting to my corp mates that assault ships should have a bonus to afterburners to put ab’s on par with the effectiveness they would otherwise get out of micro-warp drives. The entire purpose, of course, would be to make them immune to the warp scrambling effect of turning off mwd’s.

The afterburner bonus was eventually added to Sansha ships, but I think it makes more sense to give the role bonus to assault ships. Thematically it fits better and would be in line with your stated goal of aiding in solo and small gang pvp.

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I’d like to chime in with a few personal thoughts

I’ve always felt that the aspect of something being “assault” in this game has always been sort of swept to one side, i have also thought that the ability to take more damage for only a short amount of time has been woefully downplayed, in my humble opinion assault vessels are a force to be reckoned with, everyone says they’re good and to be fair they are, I’ve often flown one and with half decent skill its taken about 15 - 20 pilots to bring me down, however i feel an AF/ HAC damage control should be amped up some more, especially if CCP want longer fights, a single HAC should be able to tank damage for a long period of time. examples of this in science fiction which come to mind are of the X-303 (The Daedalus) from stargate SG1. this is typically used for bying people some time.

typically they have a great warp speed, but are generally slow movers with naturally high DPS. i don’t know if any of this helps but if you took the HAC as the base line for HAC and higher class ships (dreads, carriers & titans) you stat to piece together a more tradition scifi imagery for space battles.

especially for fighters, but thats a bit off topic now. we do have siege modules for for marauders and such things but i think an ADC should be re-worked into something slightly more useable other than taking more damage, especially if a rework is up for consideration.

an example in my mind for a module re-work

change ADC → Assault Control Module:
3 minute cycle time for damage resistance increase & repair module bonus
while giving a range boost to guns (without changing DPS)
it uses some kind of fuel stront/fuelblocks/whatever is appropriate (probably stront)
10 units per cycle and can hold in the module 50 units.
it doesn’t pull fuel from the cargo bay, you must manually refuel it.
it also has a 5 minute cool down time before it can be refueled.

but when it comes to the balance stuff i’m not sure if this is even a good idea despite it being able to tick a bunch of boxes which i think CCP would like. I’m more focused on immersion and exploring concepts into a workable play style. to create kick ass game play experience.

TLDR: I agree please see above for random module idea

Im the past you could mess up BS fleets with AF/AC fleets by flying under their guns. But with the invention of Stasis Grapplers this is almost impossible now, which makes it hard to counter a BS fleet with anything else then another BS fleet or Capitals. This is super boring.

Give AF/AC immunity against any kind of webification maybe at costs of other features they have. This would give them a clear role and make them fun again.


Ewar resistance including web’s sounds great, but they will have to loose something to make it fair, maybe they take 50% less incoming repair from remote repair as a roll bonus to balance it out. I also really like the idea of their base stats being taken from their t1 ship’s and then modified slightly.

T1 ships where modified after HAC’s and hac’s where not re-calibrated with those changes either and the t1 ships feel very good atm.

This will make them less dominant in huge numbers but solo and small gang they will be pretty interesting.


The ADCU could operate like a bastion module, in that it prevents the effectiveness of RR. Of course, you’d then have to make it good enough that people would want to use it.

Edit: speaking of Adcu’s, they should be allowed to be fit on the t1 version of the af / hac hulls. Currently there are a bunch of t1 / meta adcu mods which are basically useless. Who would put something less than t2 on those ships?

Well, that’s a big change that will have far reaching consequences. So, I’m not even going to pretend like I can predict them all. However, you have certainly piqued my interest. so, +1.

seems like having fuel for an ADC is the way forward i am very okay with this idea if it means i can last longer on grid.

however I’d like to chime in again for all to discuss.

a quick google search on “assault vessels” has lead me to find that assault craft throughout history have been mainly used to support ground troops and have been used for “sea-to-shore” operations with a secondary role of aircraft carriers,

here is a snippet.
" The role of the amphibious assault ship is fundamentally different from that of a standard aircraft carrier: its aviation facilities have the primary role of hosting helicopters to support forces ashore rather than to support strike aircraft. However, some are capable of serving in the [sea-control] role, embarking aircraft like [Harrier] or the new [F-35B variant of the [Lightning II]) fighters for [combat air patrol] and helicopters for [anti-submarine warfare] or operating as a safe base for large numbers of [STOVL] fighters conducting air support for an expeditionary unit ashore. Most of these ships can also carry or support landing craft, such as [air-cushioned landing craft, hovercraft, or LCUs,"

links worth reading:

now I’m pretty sure the Assault class ships weren’t intended to do this in EVE however it might be worth taking a moment of consideration.

I’ve suggested before about introducing some kind of ship to ship boarding parties and raid feature. so perhaps AF & HAC’s could be used for this purpose. if not i suppose the original design concept needs to be addressed and then aspects of game play built around the concept then balanced appropriately.

my approach here isn’t just to balance AFs/HACs
its to ask “what is an assault vessel in eve?, what is its role?, how does it do it? does it line up with historically accurate vessels of its class? if not how is it different?”

personally I’m in favor of the ADC being fueled and being used to support raiding groups for ship to ship and ship to station boarding, perhaps we could start with NPC “warclones” and then considering bringing back dust into the game

The closest real world vehicle to an AF / HAC would be an attack helicopter like an apache or hind.

that would make them strike craft then, so the premise would bit hard and fast, hit and run style fighting.

my main question now is “isn’t that the job for fighters though?”

however, I have a thought, hear me out on this one.

if we follow the historical purpose of these vessels and entertain raid style game play were to be entertained for the assault class then things could move in an interesting way.

you’d have to make the assault frigate skill available for alpha clones this way alpha clones can enjoy the party for raid game play mechanics

AF’s = ship to ship raids and excludes structure and capitals (dreads and above) meaning this can only raid subcap only ships, including freighters & orca)

HAC’s = ship to ship raids HAC → capitals, (dreads and above) this would be designed for boarding parties to take down capital ships, titans, dreads bombs rolling through peoples territories.

and then for good measure you can introduce the warbarge as a capsuleer controlled vessel which would be applicable for structures and titans, moons and planets.

all ships could effectively work with things like stargates if you wanted to entertain the concept of them being conquerable. the variable then becomes how many troops you can hold. meaning an AF trying to capture a stargate will likely be unsuccesful simply due to sheer numbers but still possible.

at least that is the concept and i personally think seeing this in the game would be completely awesome and would really open up the world in a sense of immersion.

you’d have to make the assault frigate skill available for alpha clones this way alpha clones can enjoy the party for raid game play mechanics

Sorry, but unless CCP dramatically changes their monetization strategy, they wont happen. Alphas are stuck in t1.

As for the other idea, there’s no point in changing the general idea of what an assault frigate is. (And no, fighters don’t fill that role.)

That said, there is a potential role for a ship line around orbital insertion, assaulting structures and other ships. That will have to be after structure / ship interiors and planets are added to the game though. Months ago, I outlined a plan for that here.

wow, that seems very in depth, I genuinely intend on reading it in full later (am heading out soon), at first glance it looks good I personally would swap somethings around though. but that’s a different conversation for another day.

so back to the point, now that we’ve got a better understanding of the vessels intended role it would be a case of building mechanics and such around that.

truth be told i was really hoping for the raid stuff but that’s just me.

rebalance lol what game have you all been playing ? they’ll nerf the lock range and call it a day.

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had a thought regarding power scaling withing their respective categories.

T1 → T2 → AF

T1 → T2 → HAC

if the assault vessels in the game are intended to be more as strike vessels not only are they T2 but they would have to be on the higher tier of T2 vessels, so they’d be the cream of the crop, of that specific vessels capabilities.

so the best frigs will be AFs
the best cruisers will be HACs.

my thinking here is that it should take four T1 Dessies to easily taken down an AF or two T2 Dessies, this could also be scaled that four T1 battlecruiers or two T2.

this does not mean the AF or HAC can deal crazy DPS my thinking is strictly more along the tanking capabilities of the vessels

perhaps assault vessels when using the ADC they can have an increase of ROF? but now we’re talking balancing which is not my forte.

so i have no idea if what i have posted here will be any good.

I imagine there would be an appropriate power scaling between AFs and HACs and other vessels meaning in the hierarchy of vessels they will ultimately have their place, of good reliable ships.

I do wish that whatever the result it does mean the return of “wolf fleets” i never actually got to do any of those as i was too new to the game, but i feel in that sense, there would be an appropriate place somewhere in the game

could ships perhaps be given some kind of synergy bonus when operating on the same grid or field this way once a certain number is passed those ships start taking negatives? or perhaps I’m now just over thinking things which aren’t necessary.

going to pass the ball back to you guys on this one and ponder a bit more.

The original design principal from the initial balance pass between the various tiers of ships went something like this:
t1: core ship stats
faction: pure upgrade from t1
t2: specialist
t3: generalist

Using this philosophy, af’s and hac’s aren’t supposed to be “the cream of the crop” … they’re specialists in brawling. In other words, higher tank and slightly higher dps than its t1 variant, but slower and less utility (if the t1 variant has utility.)

Destroyers role is to kill frigs. So they should likely be about on par with af’s in terms of who would win in a fight.

That said, CCP might have different ideas on how balance should be done these days, so take all that with a grain of salt. What I mentioned above was very popular when it was released though.

(Wolf packs are very fun. I imagine they still would be. You just can’t whelp the fleet into a fleet of a larger hull size. This fleet doctrine is designed to kill lone ratters and people traveling around by themselves.)

interesting so in a way i kind of got the scaling right but was way off with everything else?

so regarding the concept of balance, where do we go from here?

(btw read your forum post, it is very good, would do things in a different order but its very well thought out)

They are not only for killing lone ratters:

I wish I can link you that one video I saw of 12 AF’s fighting a 50 man fleet of all types of ships with some caps and the af’s where winning. Just cant remember where I saw it.

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I wish I can link you that one video I saw of 12 AF’s fighting a 50 man fleet of all types of ships with some caps and the af’s where winning. Just cant remember where I saw it.

That’s just pure pilot skill. The reason why we remember videos like that is because they’re doing things other people can’t.

so regarding the concept of balance, where do we go from here?

I think the op of this thread has the right idea of how to change things for the better.

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I would love to see that video. Maybe the AF’s had a fantastic FC keeping it together.


I cant find the one I’m looking for but this one is similar.

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