Capital ships in EVE are very ill-conceived. There is a huge gap between Battleships and Dreadnaughts in terms of EHP, size, and damage that simply doesn’t exist between Battlecruisers and Battleships. While CCP is unlikely to change the ship models, there are things that can be done to balance caps.
The biggest problems I see with capitals (and here I am strictly talking about Dreadnaughts, Force Auxiliary, Carriers, and Supercarriers) are:
- Overall EHP.
- Strength of Local Reps.
- Application of Remote Reps.
- Application of capital DPS to subcaps.
- Lack of clearly defined role.
EHP and Local Reps
For reference: A Megathron has about 36.9k EHP unfit, and a Brutix has 23.7k EHP unfit. This is about a 1.5x difference. A Moros has 569k EHP unfit. This is over 10x the EHP of the Megathron. The disparity widens with fittings and ofc that doesn’t take local repping into account.
An overall nerf to EHP and local reps is in order. This makes sense. Ships in EVE have a steady progression from Frigate to Battleship. That progression breaks when you hit caps. It also makes sense for another reason; Dreadnaughts (specifically) use “oversized” weapons. Compare a Dreadnaught with guns fit to a Battleship with guns fit. Now look at an Attack Battlecruiser with guns fit. On both the Dreadnaught and the Attack Battlecruiser, the guns look absolutely huge on the hulls. This is not the case with a Battleship. Attack Battlecruisers have very low EHP compared to Combat Battlecruisers. It makes sense that a Dreadnaught would have more EHP than a Battleship, but it also makes sense that they would have a lot less EHP than they do - they fit these huge guns, they have this “siege” infrastructure (which involves their weapon and repping systems), and they have a jump drive. Not to mention considerably sized storage; on the Revelation that’s 2k cargo, 10k fleet hangar, 1000k ship maintenance, and 8k fuel bay. That’s a huge amount of space that doesn’t add to EHP; it’s just empty storage space.
Proposal: Reduction in Dreadnaught EHP to 2x that of Battleship, and some sort of reduction in Local repping. Perhaps a limit to how many “capital” sized reppers can be fit. Carrier EHP cut in half, speed increased (see below on application). Supercarrier EHP reduced to 1.5x that of Carriers.
Application of Remote Reps
I’ve always thought that Remote Reps should apply their beneficial effects based on signature radius, wherein subcaps could rep subcaps the same as they do now, but caps would have very poor application of their reps on subcaps.
Proposal: FAX’s have trouble applying their remote reps to subcaps, making them less effective than logistics cruisers on some metric (could be ISK per reps or something).
Damage and Application
There used to be this paradigm in EVE - and that paradigm was “bigger isn’t better”. People would often lose their Battleships to a single Frigate or the like because the Battleship couldn’t apply DPS to the Frigate. A lot of that has changed with the rebalances to drone hulls and the introduction of equipment such as “Heavy Grapplers” and the “Rapid” variety of missile launchers, making solo PvP in larger, unsupported ships more viable - for better or for worse. It has certainly hurt the people who enjoy flying smaller ships. Anyway. This change has also made it’s way, unfortunately, to Capital ships with the introduction of HAW and, again, Heavy Grapplers. And with the huge amount of DPS caps do, it creates an untenable situation for subcap pilots.
There is also the issue of Carriers. A Supercarrier, one of the largest ships in the game, can simply delete a frigate from existence. With the Arrayed Sensor Network, targetting the frigate is no problem, either.
This is broken and makes Capitals oppressive. It also reduces the amount of support Capital ships need.
Proposal: HAW weapons can track Battleships - but only with very heavy support (remote tracking links, webs, target paints). HAW weapons specifically for shooting Carriers and Supercarriers. Make Dreadnaughts a hard counter to carriers. Normal Dreadnaught weapons relegated to structure bashing and shooting Titans.
Lack of Clearly Defined Roles
Caps and supers can do pretty much everything these days. They can delete subcaps with ease, either via fighters, HAW, or AOE effects. They can do ECM. They can teleport. They can store other ships inside them. If cost is no factor (and it isn’t anymore), why even bring subcaps? Caps need clearly defined roles and they need to have their effectiveness outside of these roles drastically penalized - the same as every other ship in EVE.
- Carriers - Anti-battleship and anti-battlecruiser platforms. Their fighters move fast, their weapons are fixed in place, and as such they should have a hard time applying DPS to smaller targets.
- Supercarriers - Anticap.
- Dreadnaughts - Anticarrier, antistructure.
Subcap Anticap Stuff
Tech 2 Attack Battlecruisers maybe. Oversized prop, oversized guns. Low tank, but high speed and high DPS/range. Worse tracking than tech 1 variant.