I think it’s pretty clear to everyone at this point that the Tactical Destroyers are mostly above curve on the power level, with the Hecate and Jackdaw being close to ‘right’ while the Confessor, and to a larger extent, the Svipul sit well above the power curve. Why are the Hecate and Jackdaw reletively well balanced but the Svipul and Confessor are overpowered? For the most part, it’s their base speed, speed mode bonuses, and the low base signature they have.
The Hecate propulsion mode and why it’s really well balanced. And why it should be used on other T3Ds
I really love the design behind the Hecate propulsion mode, and the base stats that the Hecate has for speed, The Hecate has a really low mass, a Prop Mode bonus that only applies to MicroWarp Drives while having a really slow base speed. What that means is that the Hecate is really vulnerable to bigger ships while it is scrammed, but enjoys near perfect agility (1.99s align) and above the pack Combat Frigate speeds when it is not scrammed.
The Hecate has a base speed of 213m/s (Assuming all level V, no modules which either subtract or add additional speed to the Hecate). This is slower than some Battlecruisers, which means while the Hecate is scrammed, assuming mutual control modules on both side (I.e. A cruiser has a scram+web, Hecate has scram+web) The cruiser will be faster, and will be able to dictate Traversal, and will therefore have perfect tracking vs the Hecate with good deflection piloting (Double click in space, move away, hecate will have to approach at a 0 degree angle). This also means Frigates, which are vulnerable and probably will die in scram range to the Hecate due to the strong tracking on the hull and optimal bonus it can achieve in sharpshooter mode, can at least control the Hecate, and will be able to scram kite it or leave if they can weather the DPS output, meaning it can’t just permanently keep up with Frigates like the Svipul and Confessor can which both propulsion mode base speeds are faster than every combat frigate in the game.
I really like this balance because it means that the Hecate has the best base agility in the game for a non-shuttle/pod. while having above pack Combat Frigate speeds when it is not committed or hard tackled, but means the Hecate is very vulnerable to Cruisers which have a warp scrambler module. This creates interesting balance/strength and weaknesses to the Hecate. Destroyers should be vulnerable to Cruiser weapons.
The Svipul and Confessor Propulsion modes are incredibly powerful, and problematic in my opinion because it makes them too good at scram kiting, and especially incredibly hard to mitigate damage from even from kiting fits involving beams/artillery even if you outplay them and get on top of them at 0km you will be tracked perfectly.
This also makes them incredibly hard to hold down for Cruisers, while a single web on a Hecate will prevent it from really going anywhere, cruisers need dual webs to hold down both the Confessor and the Svipul in order to keep up with them, and to apply their full damage to them.
|T3D||Base Speed||Base Prop Mode||Combat Frigates||Base Speed|
The reason why the base speed is important, as mentioned, is that it is essentially a ‘tracking boost’ for the Svipul and Confessor vs smaller ships attempting to go under their tracking. A 280mm Svipul with a defensive web will be faster than (or force MWD on and sig bloom which results in the same outcome) a close range brawling frigate with scram+web. A close range Rifter starting a fight at 0km, orbit 500 on a kiting 280mm Artillery Svipul, will get tracked absolutely perfectly because the Svipul enters speed mode, mutually webs the Rifter, then double clicks in space with superior speed, drops traversal to 0 and then has perfect tracking vs the Rifter. I feel the power of this mode makes Sharpshooter mode undervalued, since even against Interceptors, the Speed mode actually gives a better tracking increase than sharpshooter mode does, because of the angular velocity you’re able to mitigate by going into speed mode.
Here are some Graphs comparing a max skilled Cyclone with Tech II Heavy Assault Launchers, Caldari Navy Ammo, 2 BCUs, and a scram+web and the application that it deals to Tactical Destroyers in Propulsion Mode, not including drones. The Total Paper Missile DPS is 352
Vs a Hecate, it applies almost full damage, putting out approx 330 of 352 DPS. Here is the same Cyclone shooting a Svipul in Speed mode.
The Cyclone applies less than 60% of the DPS it applies to the Hecate, to the base Svipul, just because of how huge the base speed increase is on the Speed Mode, and you will actually mitigate more DPS by being in speed mode than in Defensive Mode vs a HAM ship with scram+web.
For a more ‘realistic comparison’ even though there are several svipul fits, many which don’t run 2x Medium shield extenders and 3 rigs, Assuming Shield Buffer fit Svipul (2x RF Medium Shield Extenders, 3x Shield Rigs) The Svipul still mitigates 25% of the DPS dealt to the Hecate, just from the Speed mode.
I also think that giving the T3Ds the same speed mode will help with taking away unwarranted complexity and weird game mechanic interactions, The hecate is able to warp 1.99s by staying in the speed mode, which makes a lot more sense to newer players, the Jackdaw has a similar interaction, although not quite <2.00 align. Both the Confessor and Svipul can perform this, but only by mode switching mid align from Speed to either Defensive/Sharpshooter, and this weird mechanical interaction is unintuitive to new players.
The base Signature of both the Svipul and Confessor are also much lower than the T1 Hull variations, and T3Ds are also the only advanced ship to benefit from this. All Strategic Cruisers (barring a select subsystem) have vastly larger signature radius’ than T1 and T2 Cruisers.
How does the Confessor Compare the Hecate when taking damage from the Cyclone in the previous example?
Hecate taking damage from scram/web Cyclone
This is a Confessor IN SHARPSHOOTER mode. You can see that the extra 10m sig reduction on the Confessor hull and the 30% higher base speed over the Hecate actually results in it taking 20% less DPS!
Here is the Confessor in defence mode, it now takes almost half the paper DPS that the cyclone is able to put out, for free. It also has a smaller signature radius than the Punisher, a Frigate. The DPS has now dropped below 200. In comparison to the Hecate, it takes about 44% less damage
As another comparison, here the Confessor in speed mode, it still gets a 33% damage reduction over the Hecate in comparison.
I feel like giving the Confessor and Svipul the same mass and base speed, with the same mode as the Hecate or Jackdaw would go a long way to address their dominance, and also create more interesting counter-play. I.e. a 280mm Thrasher with long point will die to an Atron that gets under it’s guns, an Atron should be able to do the same thing to a Svipul.
I honestly think this would be the #1 thing to help address T3D dominance and create more counter-play against them for both frigates/cruisers.
Here are some ideas that we discussed in the Focus Group, and my thoughts on them.