Please balance fleet PvP Battlecruisers

Recently Pandemic Horde had a nice fight with Test Alliance in Perimeter at the Test Keepstar. Horde brought the usual Ferox + Osprey fleet, while Test had their Dominix + Nestors deployed and ready. If you just look at the ISK brought to the field Test should have the upper hand, but actually Horde wiped the floor with them. After round one they reshipped, came back, got destroyed again, went back to Jita and reshipped for round three. And at this point something happened that made me write this post: they copied our Ferox fit 1:1 and suddenly they started winning. In this now mirror battle it clearly showed that it wasn’t bad FC-ing on Test side or being at a fitting/skill disadvantage, no, the deciding factor in this fight was solely the Ferox. Something that shouldn’t be too surprising in a game where 99% of all alliances use Ferox Doctrine for fleet fights.

So let’s compare the insta-applying ships (Harbinger vs Ferox vs Brutix vs Hurricane) in similar PvP fleet fittings:

DPS (guns): Brutix (621) > Harbinger (601) > Ferox (445) > Hurricane (437)
Range: Ferox (122) > Brutix (89) > Harbinger/Hurricane (74)
EHP: Ferox (80k) > Brutix/Hurricane (58k) > Harbinger (56k)
Speed: Hurricane (1422) > Brutix (1327) > Harbinger (1229) > Ferox (1160)

In fleet battles you need two things: EHP and range, because if you manage to out-range the enemy you can shoot and the enemy cannot, and ehp make sure your remote repair has time to react. The Ferox wins in both categories by a huge margin.
DPS doesn’t really matter, because you can easily supplement lower DPS with more people. And speed doesn’t matter (much) either, because while you try to get in range the enemy is already sniping your ships to Valhalla, and once you are finally in range they just warp to a new ping, rinse, repeat.

I would personally love to see more diverse fights than the thousandst Ferox fleet doctrine meeting somewhere, but for this the Ferox needs to be brought down in line with the other ships. First of all turn the Ferox into a 4 med/6 low slots like the other three. This would reduce the Ferox-EHP to 63k, still a first place but no longer at an overwhelming distance. Secondly remove the range bonus/level, which - when using the new low slots for tracking enhancers - would bring the range down to 100 km, again still first place, but much closer to the others now. As an alternate secondary bonus I would suggest 5% cap recharge/level, which would help the Ferox a lot.

For the Hurricane I would suggest to merge the shooting speed bonus into a 10% damage bonus, then add a 5% range bonus/level as secondary, and increase power grid by 15% to free the currently mandatory Reactor Control Unit, so the ship can actually fit it’s weapons.

This would give us two ranged options and two dps options, with all ships having their own moment to shine but none of them being completely out of line as right now. Brutix would then be the high dps ship with good speed and range to actually apply that, but lacks the endurance in both cap and EHP, yet can be fitted with self-rep for small fleets. Harbinger follows with slightly lower dps but the ability to quickly adapt to changes in range, while being more enduring on cap and the option to bash structures without ammunition. Ferox would still be the enduring long range sniper ship (but no longer outperforms too much), and the Hurricane would be an enduring long range sniper with lower dps but significantly higher alpha strikes and better maneuverability than the Ferox.

The problem with your balance argument is that it ignores all other forms of PvP.

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hurricane fleets are more expendable than ferox fleets, and up against loki fleets hurricanes tend to trade better due to their high alpha

The Ferox is also no armor boat. All that the Harbinger needs is 200 more powergrid and 10 cpu to be on par with the Ferox.

The Harbinger Navy Issue is on par with the Ferox, has only a tad less range but still high alpha with aurora M.

That common lifeforms only listen to “make fly Ferox, is guddh” is not the game’s fault and that those life forms also happen to be too incompetent to fit ships is also not the game’s fault.

Exactly like you’ve mentioned, the ferox is well suited to fleet level pvp.

But that’s not the only form of pvp and not the reference point for balance. A ferox is not going to be so oppressive in small gangs or brawls.

Still surprised the domis struggled. What happened? Couldn’t track?

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Ferox has its weakness’s people just aren’t abusing them, shield means higher Sig, they are slow so using closer range guns is better against them, so a MWD Zealot fleet will mop the floor against ferox’s, if they have very good tackle that can get them nice warp in’s and so on.

They also can’t change damage type’s so you could bring a Eagle fleet and mop the floor against ferox’s once again, Hell you can bring anything you want and just fit kin/therm resi only and have a massive advantage.

They rely heavily on cap so void bomber squads will cuase massive issues for them.

They are weak to tracking disruption so that is another option, I think the problem is that your enemies are just not creative enough :].

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Still this particular form of PvP is having a problem right now, and it is one of the most important ones. If you see Feroxes in 99% of all battles on all sides, you know something is heavily out of balance.

All fitting examples were shield tanked, because you absolutely need the free low slots for fleet PvP. An armor tanked ship is too slow, not agile enough and scarifies a lot of dps to be tanky to then get nothing to put into the med slots.

Absolutely no one cares about sig radius in big fleet battles unless it is outstandingly low.

Even if that was true you would trade 80m ships vs 300m ships, so for every Zealot killed you can loose 3-4 Ferox and still come out ISK positive.

Void bomber squads would also die immediately, the Ferox pops his cap charge and continues firing. Lots of bombers wasted for nothing.

That’s why you have several anchors in big fleet wars.

They are not scared about loss, the whole point of big fleet battles is to win the ISK war. If one side looses 5b and the other one looses 50b, then no matter who won, those who lost 50b will go bankrupt eventually if they try to keep that up. Ships don’t grow on trees.

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Yea, except its not a 1 - 4 kill death ratio :] more like 1 - 10, eagles murder ferox’s, Zealot’s to a lesser extent sure.

Also don’t forget loosing 3 to 4 ships per 1 kill means your side is loosing dps a lot faster, so eventually reps will hold and the rest will fall like domino’s.

Having a lower sig than your enemy means you can use the same weapon systems and come in a lot closer than they can, harder to do because you need more skilled fleet member’s but do it a few times and they will get the hang of it.

Fear is great isn’t it, keeps your enemies weak they would rather loose cheaper ship’s than risk more and end up loosing less afterward’s, some of the biggest differences you can make are blinging out those logi ship’s yet so few actually do it. (I guess it depends how many numbers your against.)

I remember once blinging a fleet ship for fun and loosing fleet mates 1 after the next till they hit my tank and couldn’t break it, for some reason they didn’t swap off for a good minute and by the time they did they had lost to much dps and we all held well afterward’s definitely worth it.

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Yeah to our first fight in high-sec I’ve been with Test actually brought Eagles. After they lost a good amount of their fleet, basically trading 1:1 with Feroxes because our smart FC just jumped on top of them, they withdrew. Needless to say they never tried that again. So Eagles only own Feroxes if the FC stinks, because if you kill the range advantage of an Eagle it is just an overpriced Ferox.

And the Zealot… I have no idea what you are smoking. The Zealot has less EHP and less Range than a Ferox, all for the price of 4 Feroxes. If you bring Zealots to oppose a Ferox fleet you are just dumb.

If 200 ppl volley 326,400 damage on you, you are dead. If your sig radius cuts that damage in half you are still dead. You don’t notice any difference whether you one-shot another Ferox or an Interceptor, both just die instantly. Sig radius is completely irrelevant in big fleet battles.

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I guess with fleet’s of 200 its a very different story, my experience is only about 80. But theoretically if you can get a zealot fleet keeping as much transversal as posible literally in the face of your enemy 10-35 km’s since their furthest enemy fleet members and closest will be quite some distance away it will be a lot less than 1/2 projected damage as rails would be mostly missing.

The Harbinger Navy Issue would have been a good choice. She has a brick tank and up to 99 / 125km range with aurora m if you fit her right.

Ever heard of links?

you cant drop bombs in highsec

I very much like the Harbinger, but you just cannot fit it brick tank, high dps, high range and fast enough all at the same time. Any armor fit will make it slow and requires you to reduce DPS. If you shield tank it you are agile and fast enough to reposition quickly and have the DPS, but you lack the range and the high tank.

The Ferox is the only ship where you get all of that in one fit, and that causes it to essentially render all other Combat Battlecruisers useless for fleet battles.

Also please link a fit with 125m range, I can’t get that fitted without basically sacrificing everything. Something the Ferox gets right out of the box btw., so without even having to put in any range extenders.

Gib 130 billion isk and I just might.

I dont think we need to tinker with other BCs to fix the ferox’s oppression. Other BCs are sitting in a good spot.

The issue is that ferox does 85% of what a vulture does. The only benefit to a vulture is tank, link bonuses and like ~15% better range, but at x4 the cost.

Ferox is faster, better scan resolution, same damage, nearly the same range (75% bonus to optimal and 25% falloff, compared to 100% optimal bonus on the vulture).

I think an easy adjustment to help kick the ferox off its podium without making it useless is this:

Reduce its optimal bonus trait from 10% per level to 5% per level. Then reduce its speed. This brings its spike range down to about 91km optimal, which puts it into easy range of medium aurora with 2 optimal scripted TC. This way other BCs (other than a cane) can keep up with it (even a plated harb) and are able to shoot within its same damage envelope if fit correctly.

Edit:
Tbh, idk why no one is using tachyon apocs/napocs to kill ferox fleets in HS. More tank, more range, better dps. Ferox sig is huge, so apoc with tracking+optimal bonus sitting at 100km should apply fine. Xray hits out to 88+44km optimal for 450dps. Standard is 120km and ~380dps

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Price tag and maneuverability. You get about 3 Feroxes for the price of 1 standard Apoc and it will take ages to get into position. And if the enemy jumps right on top of you, the damage advantage is easily killed by the extremely low tracking on large weapons.

Yeah I think that should be the default range for Feroxes, not 120km as it is right now. However the Ferox absolutely need to loose it’s additional med slots, because otherwise it will still keep the massively higher EHP. Anything above 4 med slots means you outtank all other ships.

In highsec there arent bubbles to stop you from warping. Ofc, if they do land on top, you can switch to gleam or just use an MJD fit apoc and reposition immediately and continue doing damage.

I think price is moot. T1 BS insure really well. Battleships are the counter to battlecruisers. A strong BC is fodder to a proper BS counter.

You have an objective to defend? Who cares if youre spending 150m instead of 70m, do you want to win the objective or count beans?

I feel like a lot of FCs/null corps have completely forgotten how to properly use turret BS and underestimate them. Not aimed at you, just sharing an observation.

Not going to happen. It used to have 1 less mid, but had a shield resist bonus in place of the damage bonus. The 1 mid was to compensate for the loss of resistances.

From what i see when i bring up a typical Ferox fleet fit is about 75k EHP (before links/fleet bonuses). A beam harby i made has ~72k EHP. So its pretty close. Maybe share the Ferox fit just to make sure im seeing the most recent fits, as 75k seems comparable.

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Say what?

The ships in EVE are not balanced around “bring 3 trillion and press FONE”. They are balanced by other metrics.

How about a grid nerf? Now that i look at it, it has crazy high powergrid. More than a cane or brutix. Encourage the swap of a mag stab for a reactor control.

Another one???

How about we nerf people instead and delete all capitals from EVE.