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Monday, December 10, 2012

My Wish List for Hauler Rebalancing

Last Wednesday, I ran through my reasons for declaring the scanning change to the Orca and Blockade Runners was a good idea. That post, though lengthy, was limited in scope and discussion. It looked at pn;y two issues: the Orca needing to be an Industrial Command Ship, providing bonuses to mining like combat Command Ships do combat, and the Blockade Runner needing to flt fast and remain stealthy.

There is much more that needs done to rebalance industrial ships. Just because I think the Oca should be like a Rorqual light doesn't mean I think CCP should eliminate the unintended roles it currently  performs for the greater community. As was pointed out, there needs to be a way to transport rigged ships for example.

So let me start there. As I've alluded previously, I once lived a much different life than I do now. One thing I learned about in that previous incarnation was the concept of the RoRo ship. Officially they are the LMSR, Large Medium Speed Roll-on/Roll-off ship. They allow fully functional combat vehicles to arrive in theater ready for action.
This is the role I envisage for the Deep Space Transport (DST) ship. My wish is to see this ship reincarnated as a LMSR. Just as LMSR today can transport any Army vehicle, the EVE Online LMSR fleet must do the same - up to a point. I don't see the point of including capital ships in this requirement. They are themselves a sort of LMSR aren't they?
To accomplish this change, the cargo hold of the DST must give over to a ship hanger bay. Making it as large as the Orca's with all the same parameters (i.e. no piƱata affect) would be a start. Also, CCP would need to give it a jump clone vat. Why? How do you think the capsuleers get to their ships? It would be the only non-capital ship capable of using a clone vat. Now wouldn't that be something? In addition  there may need to be a ship visual redesign... or not. I'm not too hung up on that though it might ruin immersion for others. In the end, this little used ship would receive a new life with a dedicated role as a combat transport. It'd go in harms way and deliver its cargo of ready-to-fight ships anywhere and then bring in the pilots to fight them!
The next role I'd like to wave the wish wand over is Planetary Interaction. I already have a ship for that, the  Primae. I never use it. It is not "big" enough for the job. My previous Wetware Mainframe high-sec production line required tens of thousands of cubic meters of cargo space to cross level resources on my six planets. The Primae has only a 100 m3 cargo hold and a 1000 m3 PI commodities hold. That's useless. To fulfill it's role CCP needs to increase the PI commodities hold to at least 20k cubic meters. I'd frankly prefer 50k. And why not, this is a wish list! All it can haul is PI products and Command Centers. It's role specific at that point and useful. But since this is a wish list, there are a couple other things I'd like to see. I'd like it to be warp stabilized and have a utility high added with enough CPU for an Improved Cloaking device. And lastly, I'd like to have that nifty Target Spectrum Breaker technology built right into the ship. It'd activate automatically if anyone gets a lock. That's not too much to ask for is it? Come on, POCOs are so easily camped this ship needs the chance these improvements give it. It's still explodable, but the pilot trying to do so would actually have to have some skills to pull it off. That's all I'm asking.

That leaves freighters and the T1 cargo ships. The latest changes to freighters, from what I've been told by the few freighter pilots I know, are good ones and well received. I think freighters, and that includes jump freighters, are right were they need to be now.

The T1 cargo ships on the other hand are not. Progression through them is accomplished strictly by skill acquisition, the "old" way. Fortunately they are not expensive and having these ships based on skill progression rather than role didn't make budding industrialist automatic losers like fighting a Rifter with an old Atron. But that doesn't mean they should remain the same. To begin with, there are too many of them. No capsuleer buys all of them in progression. I know I didn't. I went from the Iteron to Iteron Mark V in one swing. There is no need for five separate ships in this role.

So, in keeping with the philosophy behind the revamp of frigates and cruisers, we should look to their "big brothers" to determine how many T1 haulers there should be and what they should do. My estimation is there should only be three.

The first  ship would be your basic cargo hauler, like the Iteron, but more expandable in its cargo hauling capabilities as the pilot gains secondary skills. It would perform distribution and courier missions as well as be a salvage hauler in high-sec.

The second ship should be a quasi Viator. It should be faster than a Blockade Runner, have enough CPU for an Improved Cloak but have a scannable cargo hold. Yes, I said faster - as fast as an Interdictor. It would not be stealthy but it would be damn hard to catch! To justify this speed the cargo hold should be set at something small like 1000 m3 with two lows that could be used for Expanded Cargohold modules if desired.

The third hauler would have an ore hold instead of a cargo hold and augment high-sec mining fleets that don't have Orca support. It would not give mining bonuses, just increased ore hauling capability and tractor beam bonuses like an Orca.

There is no T1 version of the Primae or DST RoRo. What's the point? If a capsuleer needs a ship with those specific capabilities, they will just have to train for them.

So that's my wish list for hauler rebalancing. It fits my understanding of CCP's new ship balancing philosophy. There are ships to cover each hauling niche currently in use. It gives capsuleers a variety of tools with which to ply their trades in New Eden. In the future, as Dust 514 comes online, we might see more specialized ships like Landing Ships Personnel and Landing Ship Tanks for those planets without a POCO. These are transports too. Should the dream of fighting in stations ever come to pass, we could see T2 armored assault versions of these transports. And they would all have specific roles to serve in the fleets of New Eden.

Fly Careful


  1. The Orca currently makes it possible for me to enjoy my favourite style of game play - basically having them set up as mobile bases to roam across regions doing exploration, missions, mining etc. It can carry a change of ships and has enough cargo to carry loot and spares and the like. I would hate to lose that freedom. If the Orca just becomes a mining only type ship, I'd hope there was a replacement hull already in game.

    1. Noob Alert! I have only been playing for a few months.

      Just a thought but there could be a simple solution to this. Creating modules that change the nature of the 'cargo' space. These modules could also give bonuses as well as defining what that space can be used for (probably if you only fitted one type of module).

      So let's imagine you have 3 slots that can take 'cargo' modules. You could fit an ore module, dock module and cargo module for a general purpose style Orca (no mining bonuses) alternatively you could fit only ore modules and get the mining bonus.

  2. "The third hauler would have an ore hold instead of a cargo hold and augment high-sec mining fleets that don't have Orca support. It would not give mining bonuses, just increased ore hauling capability and tractor beam bonuses like an Orca."
    I like the idea of a larger hauler for hauling ore in from mining fleets. it doesn't have to be orca (a fully maxed orca can hold 190,000 m3 of ore)sized but at least able to haul most of an orca load away.
    As long as CCP doesn't remove remote Orca bonuses it could sit in a belt with a squad of miners and take the ore.
    It can also be used as an ore hauler from orca based fleets.
    It should have a small cargohold 1000 m3 and a drone bay the same size as an orca (5 light combat drones, 5 light repp drones and 5 salvage drones).


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