Making EDENCOM viable

Right now, EDENCOM ships are faced with a number of problems and issues that make them generally unviable relative to the difficulty of their acquition and, therefore, exorbitant cost. Only the Cruiser, the Stormbringer, sees any use in PvP and specific types of ratting (read: Abyssals), but even then it requires far too much isk and execution for a ship that is at best slightly below average compared to its similarly-costed contemporaries. The Thunderchild suffers greatly from its guns inability to apply effectively to anything smaller than a battlecruiser, and its extremely slow speed (one of the slowest, fattest battleships in the entire game) making it unable to properly position in any scenario. It’s also equivalent in cost to any Marauder, for dramatically worse overall performance in every single category. The skybreaker suffers from the fact that its desired targets- and allies- always fight well within bounce range, turning it into a teamkilling machine that more or less auto-loses any pvp fight; and while it can decently rat very, very, very weak frigate-scale pve those types of pve activities are hardly worth the time and could take days or even weeks to pay back the cost of the ship, assuming you don’t ever lose it to getting webbed or just plain unlucky.

That said, there are a number of possible ways to make these ships effective relative to their cost. Some of them are small changes that don’t solve every problem but at least make the ships existence tolerable/understandable, some of them are more involved and seek to cover as many of the issues as possible.

Option 1 - Lean into the Gimmick
The first option is to really lean into their weapon’s overall gimmick, by doing nothing more and nothing less than increasing their raw damage by anywhere between 50 and 100%. This leans into their gimmick because their gimmick is that their guns are very innately unreliable. They have a very tight and limited 10km bounce range and are liable to friendly fire or get distracted by targets they don’t want to be hitting (including space objects). By increasing the damage you make their PvE applications competitive since they would at that point only need to hit 2 or 3 targets at a time to match the typical DPS of most other ships of similar cost (as opposed to the current 5 or 6). Thus emphasizing good general play via manipulating rat positioning. In PvP, this only very slightly softens their prime weakness of getting distracted by drone balls, and makes closing the gap with these ships extremely effective in turning their own weapons against them; thus making the double-edged sword even sharper. This effectively heightens the skill ceiling of the ships while also making them generically viable in less intense activities. The main issue here is that the Stormbringer is already kind of ohkay-ish, and this change would definitely be enough to push it specifically into the dangerously close to OP zone; so the change would either need to be targeted specifically at small and large vortons, or be located in the quirks of the Skybreaker and Thunderchild; or be a much smaller buff for the stormbringer and a large buff for the small and large vortons.

Option 2 - Low Risk, Low Reward
Going the opposite direction, instead of leaning into the unreliability of the weapon by making the payoff for proper use better, you keep its lackluster general performance and instead make it more consistent. Double the bounce radius, and have the gun “prioritize” locked targets and reduce the innate maximum target count of the ships such that you can only lock 3 or 4 ships at once unless you spend fitting space on sensors (and thus give up tank, speed, damage, utility, etc.). This way, the ship’s in general become much more consistent, making their relatively low damage output easier to actually apply to a relevant degree. This does not stop local logi/passive shield regen from disproportionately lowering their damage output, this does nothing to make the ships faster at mopping up the last couple rats in a wave or bashing structures or other very tanky targets. It just makes the ships at least consistently usable for PvP and generalized ratting so that they can at least be competitive with their similarly costed contemporaries. It does make their bounces after the locked targets less consistent in what they hit, as in more likely to hit random space objects, allies, drones, etc. (and makes it much harder in pvp to keep spacing as a result). Not a bad option, but not the one I’d prefer.

Option 3 - Cost Effective
Maintain the ship’s statistics and lackluster performance, but dramatically lower their cost so that they aren’t competing with expensive T2 faction fit vessels, but rather cheaper T1 T2 fit vessels their performance is much more generally in line with. This won’t really improve their playrates, but it will at least make them not unreasonably expensive for how utterly ineffective the ships are. You achieve this very easily by reducing the number of Triglavian Transconduit Datacasters needed to purchase their blueprints by a factor of 10. Right now, 50% of the cost of a Thunderchild hull is in that one LP store material cost alone, and that is the lowest proportion by far- most everything else has 70, 80, or even 90% of its overall cost in Triglavian Transconduit Datacasters alone. Reduce the amount needed by a factor of 10 (IE take a 0 off the end of every cost of them in the DED store), and their costs all decrease to be only marginally more expensive than most T1 ships- which is good, since thats about as effective as the ships truly are in most cases. I don’t like this option, frankly, but its by far the simplest and easiest to implement and would serve at least as a good bandaid while other options are explored.

Option 4 - Ship Tree Expansion
Abandon the idea of making the T1 Edencom vessels viable, and instead expand their shiptree to match the Triglavian ship tree and have all of the T2 vessels independently apply other options or strategies on a case by case basis in conjunction with the addition of T2 role functionality to create vessels that are actually worth their weight in plex. A Thunderchild, given nothing more than the Marauder role bonus (and thereby the ability to equip a bastion module) and a small bit of extra cap to sustain the increased fire rate, suddenly becomes competitive with other marauders in most applications; still not strictly better, due to still sucking as bashing structures or single larger targets and being still easily distracted by drones and the like, but at least decently good at clearing out rats in most kinds of sites (though not having extra highslots for smartbombs means it loses alot of time killing frigates, which I feel is a worthwhile cost for being much better at clearing out battleships and cruisers, assuming it can hit at least 2 ships with any given shot). A skybreaker EWAR with a multi-web gimmick would be uniquely playable in PvP, and of course a tanky HIC Stormbringer would be a great way to make single use instances of the ship more viable in the larger scale PvP it likes to be a part of without necessitating the complicated and difficult dance the pvp stormbringer has to do to compete with other cruisers. Of course, the introduction of an EDENCOM dread to rival the Zirn would be a very unique event since its obvious specialty would be in those large dreadball battles that usually involve the titular dreadball. This is, of course, my favorite option but also the one that would take by far the most work and effort, and thus I expect CCP to never even remotely close to consider it at any point in the future. I have 0 hope whatsoever that we will ever see a T2 edencom ship at any point in EVEs history until the end of time. It just isn’t going to happen. But one can dream!

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You already have a topic about that:

Yes! But I didn’t know this section of the forums existed, meaning that other thread was/is in the wrong section. So I made a new one here, which is more appropriate.

I am just mentioning it, so a Mod can move the other one / merge them to prevent double discussions.

:o The mods can merge threads? Thats pretty neat!

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