Rubicon : Marauder changes

So ok, I’m a little bit slow. I had heard that Marauders were going to be rebalanced, which was one of the reasons I started training Minmatar Battleship 5 for the Vargur. Also, there are rumblings of the pirate battleships being nerfed. It has already started with the change to tracking enhancers, which kinda annoyed my Machariel because now it only has a falloff range of 54 which is slightly under what I prefer (around 65 seems to be about my comfort zone). I could refit it with an armor tank and get back a 64km falloff but I’m getting used to the ease of salvaging with a Marauder, hence my buying a Vargur in Jita. At the time I thought I was being clever and wanted to pick up a Vargur before any price changes due to an assumed Marauder buff, but little did I realise that the Marauder changes had already been announced on 22 August so the price had already spiked and was declining. Might have overpaid slightly on that but honestly a 20-30 million difference on a 900 million hull isn’t really a big deal. And of course now my post about the Golem vs CNR vs CNS is outdated…again.

At this point it seems like the main gist of the Marauder changes, Bastion Mode, has pretty much already been locked in since they have already done the corresponding transformation animations. CCP’s notes on Bastion mode are reproduced here.

Summary:
– 2 modes, regular and Bastion mode

    – Regular mode has reduced Micro Jump Drive (MJD) cooldown of under 1 minute
    – Bastion mode (insert Transformers Devastator combining sound) is a fortress, can’t move (including MJD) but has the following bonuses:

    – Increases shield and armor repair amount by 100%
    – Extends all large turret falloff and optimal by 25%
    – Increases all large missile max velocity by 25%
    – Has a cycle time of 60 seconds.
    – When in bastion mode, Marauder is immune to EW but cannot be remote assisted in any way

    – Bastion mode may require new skill, does not use any fuel/cap. Requires a new high slot module (10 CPU and 100 PG) and all Marauders are getting an extra utility high slot

Bad stuff
– Slightly slower and increased mass to compensate for MJD bonus
– Severely nerfed drone bays and bandwidth
– Still extremely vulnerable to jamming…
– Lost tanking bonuses (sad panda… I liked this part of Marauders…)

Good stuff
– Increased fittings, especially powergrid
– Increased max targeting range and scan resolution (OH YES)
– Decreased signature radius
– T2 resists (mmmmmm drooool…)
– All Marauders now get stasis webifier velocity factor bonus
– Target painter cycle time reduced from 10 to 5 seconds (always welcome)

So here are the proposed new ship stats:

PALADIN

Role Bonus: 100% bonus to large energy weapon damage, 100% bonus to range and velocity of tractor beams, 70% reduction in Micro Jump Drive reactivation delay

Amarr Battleship Skill Bonus:
5% bonus to capacitor capacity
7.5% bonus to Large Energy Turret optimal range (instead of 10% bonus to the velocity factor of stasis webifiers per level)

Marauder Skill Bonus:
7.5% bonus to the velocity factor of stasis webifiers per level
5% bonus to large energy turret damage per level

Slot layout: 8H(+1), 4M, 7L; 4 turrets, 0 launchers
Fittings: 16500 PWG (+3000), 530 CPU (+30)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 6300(-500) / 8000(-200) / 7700(+400)
Shield resists: 0% EM / 87.5% EX / 70% KIN / 20% THERM
Armor resists: 50% EM / 80% EX / 62.5% KIN / 35% THERM
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap/s) : 8000(+2375) / 1000s (+76.1s) / 8 cap/s (+2)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 85 m/s(-20) / .119(-0.009) / 111665000(+6465000) / 18.42s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 25(-50) / 50(-25)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 91km(+10km) / 120(+39) / 10
Sensor strength: 12 Radar
Signature radius: 420(-80)


GOLEM

Role Bonus: 100% bonus to cruise missile and torpedo damage, 100% bonus to range and velocity of tractor beams, 70% reduction in Micro Jump Drive reactivation delay

Caldari Battleship Skill Bonus:
10% bonus to cruise missile and torpedo velocity
5% bonus to cruise missile and torpedo explosion velocity per level

Marauders Skill Bonus:
7.5% bonus to the velocity factor of stasis webifiers per level
10% bonus to effectiveness of target painters per level

Slot layout: 8H(+1), 7M, 4L; 0 turrets, 4 launchers
Fittings: 8500 PWG (+2000), 715 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 8000(-200) / 6100(-1200) / 7000(+300)
Shield resists: 0% EM / 50% EX / 70% KIN / 80% THERM
Armor resists: 50% EM / 10% EX / 62.5% KIN / 86.25% THERM
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap/s) : 6325(+700) / 1150s (+226.1s) / 5.5 cap/s (-0.5)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 85 m/s(-20) / .12 / 114195000(+8995000) / 19s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 25(-50) / 50(-25)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 95km(+5km) / 105(+32) / 10
Sensor strength: 14 Gravimetric
Signature radius: 450(-125)

KRONOS

Role Bonus: 100% bonus to large hybrid weapon damage, 100% bonus to range and velocity of tractor beams, 70% reduction in Micro Jump Drive reactivation delay

Gallente Battleship Skill Bonus:
5% bonus to large hybrid weapon damage
10% bonus to large Hybrid Turret Falloff per level (instead of 10% bonus to the velocity factor of stasis webifiers per level)

Marauder Skill Bonus:
7.5% bonus to the velocity factor of stasis webifiers per level
7.5% bonus to large hybrid weapon tracking per level

Slot layout: 8H(+1), 4M, 7L; 4 turrets, 0 launchers
Fittings: 14000 PWG (+2000), 580 CPU (+30)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 6600(-200) / 7200(-100) / 8600(+400)
Shield resists: 0% EM / 50% EX / 85% KIN / 60% THERM
Armor resists: 50% EM / 10% EX / 83.75% KIN / 67.5% THERM
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap/s) : 6900(+1275) / 1150s (+226.1s) / 6 cap/s
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 92 m/s(-28) / .114(-0.0038) / 113160000(+11360000) / 17.8s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50(-25) / 50(-75)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 90km(+3km) / 120(+39) / 10
Sensor strength: 13 Magnetometric
Signature radius: 420(-80)

VARGUR

Role Bonus: 100% bonus to large projectile weapon damage, 100% bonus to range and velocity of tractor beams, 70% reduction in Micro Jump Drive reactivation delay

Minmatar Battleship Skill Bonus:
5% bonus to large projectile turret rate of fire
10% bonus to large projectile turret falloff per level

Marauder Skill Bonus:
7.5% bonus to the velocity factor of stasis webifiers per level
7.5% bonus to large projectile turret tracking per level

Slot layout: 8H(+1), 6M, 5L; 4 turrets, 0 launchers
Fittings: 12900 PWG(+5000), 625 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 7500(-100) / 6600(-200) / 6300 (-1000)
Shield resists: 75% EM / 50% EX / 40% KIN / 60% THERM
Armor resists: 90% EM / 10% EX / 25% KIN / 67.5% THERM
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap/s) : 6200(+575) / 1100s(+176.1s) / 5.6 cap/s (-0.4)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 100 m/s(-30) / .112(-0.004) / 116840000(+10740000) / 18.1s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50(-25) / 50(-25)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 81km(+6km) / 145(+60) / 10
Sensor strength: 11 Ladar
Signature radius: 360(-65)

My take:

First off it’s pretty clear that the new Marauders are being balanced under the assumption that everyone is going to use Bastion mode, which may or may not be a valid one. While the ships are getting T2 resists, it’s not clear how that’s going to pan out in light of the removal of the local rep bonuses. In the case of my Paladin, it gets amazing explosive and kinetic resists… which doesn’t help me one bit since I use it to mission in Amarr space, you know, since it’s a laser boat and all? I get that it’s plugging the armor tank resist hole, but at least buff the em and thermal slightly? The Golem on the other hand will have wtf thermal resists, so that suits me fine. Vargur resists also look pretty drool-worthy and it should have a decent tank even with the removal of the shield boost bonus. In any case, for PVE I don’t really see a reason why people wouldn’t use Bastion mode since Marauders are already slow. I’m not super hot on the range bonuses on Bastion mode though, especially on the Golem. It’s too short to allow torpedoes to be used easily (still has the 20 round launcher annoyance and requires Javelins) and with cruises… seriously, who in their right mind thinks cruises need even more range? Any more and I could shoot rats from the neighboring system… But it could help the turreted ships drop a targeting computer and would tie in nicely with the Paladin’s new optimal range bonus. The e-war immunity is nice though, no more tracking disruption and jamming, mmmmm… poor rats just lost their only real weapon.

Transform - Fortress Maximus!

Transform – Fortress Maximus!

The real question then is the MJD. CCP seems to think that the MJD and Bastion mode should be utilised together, but I have my doubts. MJD use will negate the traditional Marauder salvaging role (unless they suddenly give me 100km tractors as well). The range bonuses on Bastion mode will be underutilised if you don’t use MJD, but oh well. I was initially concerned about how I would survive if web/scrambling frigates get in close when in Bastion mode, especially with the reduced drone bays. But apparently NPCs only point, and don’t actually use warp scramblers so MJD supposedly works even when pointed (never tested this). If this is true then if frigates get too close you can just MJD out and pop them from range again, so MJD does seem attractive since you should never ever die to scrambling NPCs ever again. However, with the nerf to the already slow speed of Marauders you’d have to be pretty good at doing MJD jumps to get close to gates that are 20-30 km away. Get out your calculators and revise your sine/cosine rules to determine what angle you need to jump away from so you can jump back to the gate at 0. The other option is to mount a MJD as well as a prop mod. This would be my preference, but I’d have to play around with a fitting tool to see if the tank is viable enough to sacrifice a slot this way. Maybe I just need to learn how to MJD properly, it would open up a lot of options. Of course, it would solve all my problems if the MJD was changed to allow variable jump ranges but I’m not very hopeful on this one.

If not, I’m perfectly happy just using Bastion mode to tank everything instead of jumping away. Even with the massive drone bay nerf, 5 light drones should be enough to kill pesky frigates gradually while you super-tank incoming DPS. Instead of using 5 salvage drones and 5 Hammerhead II’s, I’ll just drop the Hammerheads to Hobgoblins or Warriors. I could also drop one of my tractors for a smartbomb and use that in Bastion mode against frigates.

MJD? Pwah, destroy the Rebel scum!

MJD? Pwah, destroy the Rebel scum!

As for the ship fitting and bonus changes, I’m generally positive about them. I mean who can complain about more powergrid? I’m looking forward to trying out artillery on the Vargur 🙂 A lot of people are upset about the nerfing of super webs, but I currently don’t use webs on my Paladin anyway… And a decrease from 50% web bonus to 37.5% web bonus feels acceptable. Personally I’d prefer if the different factions got different bonuses though, instead of a bland web bonus to all of them. This is what you get when PVP idiots rave all day long about balance… you get ships that are all the same. The scan resolution changes are just icing on the cake, no more super long lock times will definitely be an improvement.

I’m initially quite excited by this. It’s something quite different and since I don’t have and probably never will own a dreadnought, I like the idea of a mini-dread in high-sec. Unlike a lot of complainers, I’m indifferent as to whether the skill is a new skill or tied to Tactical Weapons Reconfiguration since I would have to train it up in any case. I really hope CCP doesn’t listen to the idiots suggesting that it should use some type of fuel for Bastion mode to tie in with the dreadnought skill, because that would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Just because they don’t want to train for a new skill they’d rather cart around a shit ton of crappy fuel items all over the place? Ok…

If the result of these changes is that the salvaging-as-I-go idea is totally broken… well… I suppose I can live with that, although then I might change out my dual-box pair to Marauder + Command ship. That would allow me to cart both the Noctis and the Command ship in my Orca, but it’s still not ideal because some missions require travel up to 2 jumps away and it’s a pain bookmarking multiple rooms and travelling 8 jumps instead of 4 per mission. Hmm. Not very appealing. I think I’d probably just fit a Bastion module and continue with my prop mods then, unless they remove the “useless” tractor beam bonus that a lot of people seem to want to get rid of 😦

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