Rubicon changes will be up on Sisi soon, but just for kicks I decided to try out what the Rubicon marauder playstyle will be like. I know a lot of people already use MJD fits for PVE, but the one time I tried it out it was extremely disappointing.
I had the mission World Collide (Blood Raider/Angel Cartel) offered by my friendly level 4 agent, and figured this would be the best time to try out the MJD sniper role. In my opinion this would probably be the best case scenario for such a fitting due to the following reasons:
1) First room has 2 groups that are 130+ km away, favors snipers
2) Second room (both Angel and Blood Raider) drops you in right on top of web/pointing enemies and incoming damage can be fairly high, favors MJD
3) In addition, in the second room the gate to the third room is right at the warp-in point so you can just MJD 100km away and land back at the gate without needing Pythagoras theorem
4) Third room is similar to second room but not quite as bad
Armed with some experience from that one time, I refit my Golem to drop the SBA and target painter. In their place I put on a MJD and sensor booster with targeting range script, and swapped out the afterburner for a MWD. Since my Paladin is hard pressed to shoot 100+km even with refitting to beams (unless I want to do lol-level DPS) and also because the Angels don’t take much damage from lasers anyway, I decided to dig out an old Dominix I had lying around and try out the “new” sentry bonus too. Dominix was fitted with 4 drone link augments, MJD, MWD, sensor booster, 2 OTLs, 1 LAR + 2 EANMs + DCII, and 3 drone damage amplifiers. Incidentally in trying out fits I found that the plain old Dominix completely outperforms the Dominix Navy Issue due to the tracking and optimal bonus 😐 79km falloff for Garde IIs, yes please!
Well… MJD sniping is definitely easier. In the initial room I didn’t even have to move, both groups popped without getting a shot off while I lobbed cruise missiles and used Bouncer IIs. I then MJDed a ship to each cluster of wrecks and deployed salvage drones, similar to what I would have to do in my Marauders post-Rubicon.
In the 2nd room I encountered a small hiccup where I forgot to wait out the MJD timer before taking the gate, so I arrived smack in the middle of aggro ships with a 2 min timer on the MJD. Webbed and pointed instantly, but even with the reduced tank it was no problem at all. Once the timer was up I waved cheekily to the ferociously webbing and pointing Blood Raider Spy and squirted 100 km away, where I was joined in short order by the Dominix which happily deployed Bouncers and pointed them at the aforementioned Blood Raider Spy. After everything was dead, MJD back and salvage… 3rd room went without incident. All in all, the Dominix never had to even run the LAR once and the Golem only during the snafu in the 2nd room.
However, overall the mission took quite a bit longer mainly due to the loss of the salvage-as-you-fight marauder feature. I had done the mission just a week ago in a Mach + Golem in the usual style, and while incoming DPS on the Mach got a bit hairy in the 2nd room while webbed (I think I dipped below 45% shields… pretty hairy on a 1.5B ship) overall it was a lot faster since I basically only had to tractor in cans while waiting for the last 3 or 4 wrecks to be salvaged. At sniping range incoming DPS was basically nothing, so Bastion’s rep bonus would be completely useless. I can see the e-war immunity and increased range helping the turreted Marauders (damn those tracking disruptors) but honestly in most missions NPCs spawn <80km and MJDing away would just be a waste of time.
If you wanted to just blitz through the mission, bookmarking wrecks and coming back with a Noctis I could see using the MJD + Bastion. However, the convenience of salvaging was the main selling point of Marauders for me. If I wanted to do the Noctis thing I could just use 2 regular Dominixs or Navy Ravens with regular MJDs right now, no need for Bastion or the MJD reactivation delay bonus since I basically only need to jump once anyway.
So right now I'm feeling kinda bummed out by the marauder "rebalance" since it's basically either a nerf or a wash. I'll probably still use Bastion (on the Paladin/Vargur at least) but honestly if I really wanted to snipe the MJD playstyle perfectly suits drone boats using sentries. Looking back through my old posts its pretty funny though, I actually took 2 hours to do Worlds Collide 3 years ago in a Rattlesnake and Raven… to be fair there were no drone damage amps then and the Rattlesnake did something like 500 dps 🙂