So, I actually want to begin by looking at the skiff, because I think it provides a great example for how I’d like to see the Procurer balanced. Now, both ships got a buff to PG. However, the Skiff’s PG was sufficiently large as to provide players with an interesting choice. Let’s take a closer look.
Here we have a “lightly tanked” Skiff before implants and boosts. It has 2x MLU’s, but this comes at the opportunity cost of fitting 2 LSE’s.
And, here we have a Skiff that traded 7% of it’s yield for a 15% increase in tank (before implants and boosts have been factored in).
So, to me, this is great balance. You can chose to maximize yield, or to maximize tank -but you can’t have both. You have to chose what you value more. Needless to say, I love the way this works, and I would love it if the procurer worked the same way.
Unfortunately, the procurer has what I consider to be a troll amount of power grid. While, you can technically fit an LSE in on there, it requires sacrifices that make it of dubious benefit. Thus, it doesn’t present players with meaningful choice, but instead the illusion of choice. Let’s take a closer look.
First, here’s a hull tanked Proc. It only has one MLU, but two open mids and plenty of fitting room gives it a lot of options -i.e. tackle, survey scanner, prop mod, and/or shield tanking mods for even moar tank. So, I like the choices this fit provides. Sacrifice yield, for more utility, combat capabilities, or more tank.
Next, we have a shield tank proc with an MSE. When compared to the hull tanked fit, it trades utility/combat capabilities for increased yield, and it receives a much larger benefit from shield boosts. For example, a straight hull tanked proc will only have 73.7k EHP when boosted, while this MSE proc will hit 82.8k EHP. I like this -this is meaningful choice. Unfortunately, things break down when you compare this fit to an LSE fit…
The procurer’s PG is sufficiently large to fit an LSE, but it requires two fitting mods to do so. The Reactor Control Unit decreases yield -which I think is fine. However, it also requires a Medium Ancillary Current Router on top of that. This has the effect of dramatically decreasing the amount of extra tank you get out of the fit because you have to sacrifice a tanking rig. Of course, another option is to fit a reactor control unit and 3% PG upgrade, but this option also requires PG Upgrades and Shield Upgrades V to do, which I think is asking too much of a Procurer pilot. Now, I don’t think expecting procurer pilots to have PG Upgrades V is completely unreasonable, but I definitely think that it’s too much to also expect them to have Shield Upgrades V as well. Moreover the LSE is already a compact variant, thus lower skill pilots don’t have the option of downgrading from a T2 to a compact (they can make a cheap Compact + Decayed Abyssal, but I think that’s also a big ask for a Procurer pilot). For comparison, the skiff has enough fitting room that high skill players can upgrade one of the LSE’s to a T2 variant, while lower skill players can make things easier by fitting two compact LSE’s.
So, why would you chose an LSE fit over an MSE fit? Well, I don’t think that you should. Technically, it does have the highest EHP of all 3 fits after boosts, but it’s such a paltry amount that I don’t anyone would consider it to be worth the loss of yield.
Now, I don’t know why they gave it enough PG to make fitting an LSE tempting, but not enough to actually make it worth the trade-offs. If they didn’t buff the Procurer PG at all, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. But, the PG it has now feels like a miscalculation. It’s like they intended for it to be like the Skiff, where players could chose between maximizing tank or yield, but got the math wrong or something.
Personally, I feel like it should have enough PG so that you can fit an LSE with just a reactor control unit and Shield Upgrades IV. You shouldn’t also need perfect skills, implants, abyssals, and/or engineering rigs on top of that for a T1 barge.
But what do you think?
And, if this post can gain some traction with the community, I’ll at some of the devs with it.