Thursday, March 7, 2013

Business Thursday: industrials and their rebalancing

The announcement that among many other ships, industrials will be rebalanced was already overdue. This posts shows not only why they are a mess, but - as a Business Thursday post should - but helps to find the best possible ship for the job.

The first problem is that - unlike all other ships - you fit the industrials of the various races exactly. The max-cargo version has Cargohold Expanders in lows and Cargohold optimization rigs in highs, meds have shield tank. The "max-tank" version has a Damage Control taking the place of one low and Core Defense Field extender rigs. Armor tanking an industrial would make its cargo space laughable. The max-cargo version of all ships have 1.94x larger cargo, the max-tank has 1.75x more EHP on average (STD: 0.05, no outliers), for all ships. A Merlin and a Rifter are both frigates but you fit them differently and fly them differently. But you fit and fly all 12 industrials and 4 "deep space transports" the same. Let's see the EHP and cargo space of the "max-cargo" versions of all ships:
So, this is the problem: they are all stepping stones towards the Deep Space Transports and even these transports are much worse than the Orca (which is faster to learn) and much-much worse than Freighters. Since Freighters can jetcan and scoop, there is simply nothing left of the Industrial ships than newbie freighters. While the frigates are not "combat ships for newbies", these ships have no field where they are better than Orcas or Freighters assuming there is enough cargo to fill them. The only exception is Iteron Mark V which has OK-ish cargohold but no tank, so you can carry cheap things in it until you get an Orca/Freighter. For dangerous zones there are covops haulers and jump freighters beating them again.

So which industrial you should use? Neither, get an Orca or Freighter! If you can't afford it yet, you can haul in any of them temporarily. We can see now why this class need a rebalance: they are all the same and they are all inferior to other ships. How could they are rebalanced? The different races need to do different things, like fast, fast aligning, tanked, large. The problem is that in order to be more than just stepping stones (ships that newbies use), they must be competitive compared to Orca, freighters and covops haulers. Not an easy task. If you have ideas for a role, please comment, I'll list them. I also list problematic ideas:
  • Fast hauler: I mean 500m/s without afterburner, it's good doing distribution missions on autopilot. Distribution missions are the only hauls where you need to move medium sized things that are not typical sucicide gank targets.
  • Tanky hauler: Problematic because of the Orca. It is only competitive if it's more tanky (200K+) and has other competitive property that offsets its smaller hold (faster, aligns faster).
  • Fast aligning hauler: Good for doing distribution missions manually.
  • Specialist hauler: tiny cargohold, large specialist hold for items like planetary materials, minerals, ores, fuel
  • Combat hauler: moderate cargohold, large ammo hold. Moves similarly to a battlecruiser, tanks like a battleship, has a non-zero DPS and can supply its fleet with ammo, nanite paste and some spare parts.
  • Interdiction nullified hauler: passes bubbles like a T3
  • Scanner hauler: bonused for scan probe strength, so can scan itself in and out of wormhole chains
  • ECM bonused industrial: can protect itself with ECM and ECM drones


Foo said...

For wormhole life; Industrials have a much better volume to damage to wormholes.

I use either Iteron Mark V or Mammoths; with a preference for stabilisers and scout ships.

The industrial's job is merely to haul between the nearest NPC station and our wormhole.

Dangphat said...

Booster bonus industrial.
Massive +% armor industrial.
Logistics industrial, can support its support.
ECM bonus industrial for self protection in nullsec.

Karak Bol said...

All races have two Industrials, except Gallente. There are two T2 Industrials, with pretty clear roles. Blockade Runners break trough camps by speed and cloak, while Deep Space Transports are more like an guarded caravan, able to take damage.

1. All Industrials get the Tag "cannot fit Cargo Expanders". A must have module is never good. Rigs are okay, as they do not interfere with a single tank option.

2. All industrials increase their cargo size by lets say 20% and then again as if fitted with ~4 Cargo Expanders II. In my opinion a cargo expander module is a way to make space in a combat ship, it should be built in all industrials.

3. All Industrials lose ~2 Slots to compensate. No Industrial should be able to fit a turret. Now we can keep the racial Tank identity.

To the roles:

Courier: Fast align times, warp speeds and sup-warp speeds. Rather low tank. Should have enough Powergrid to fit an MWD or role Bonus toward MWD fit, as PG could also be used for Plates etc. Less Cargohold.

Transport: Slow in align, Warp and Sub-warp. Cargo-hold is unscannable. Many slots for racial tank, good EHP. More Cargohold. Should be able to fit a suitable Buffer-Module.

Left are the three Gallente Industrials. Here we can invent some specialized roles.

POS Tender: Specialized Cargohold for POS Fuel, Moon Materials and POS Modules. High Warp Speed, Medium Align, Low Subwarp Speed, medium Tank

Heavy Duty: Specialized Cargohold for repackaged Ships (2-3 BS in any case more than an orca) and minerals (not ores). Low Warp Speed, Sub Warp Speed and Align. High Tank. For Industry oriented players.

Trader Barge: Specialized (and Huge) Cargohold for Trade Goods (NPC sold stuff). High Warp Speed, medium Align, Low Sub-Warp-Speed. Low Tank. A bit niche, but could breath some life into NPC trading.

Then I would add one more specialized Industrial for each of the other races, so Gallente does not become mandatory.

Patrol Carrier: Ship Hangar for 2-3 Frigs and/or Destroyers, can fit a single unbonused Command Link, 6 AU Warp Speed, medium align and slow Sub Warp Speed. Low Tank.

Planetary Support: This is more a general idea. An Industrial linked to Dust, giving bonuses of some kind to Dust players of one side while its at the satellite. Maybe able to project orbital bombardement, but unable to defend itself versus other ships.

Logistics Support: Specialized Cargohold for Charges. Role Bonus to Tracking Links and Remote Sensor Booster. Normal 3 AU Warp Speed, Medium align and Sub-warp Speed, High Tank.

Anonymous said...

An armor tanked T1 industrial could bring a nice flavor, with a Race Industrial skill improving its armor resistance (in a way that would be amplified by fitting armor into low slots), and little or no medium slots.

The "Max Velocity per skill level" bonus is rather useless for people that don't fly on autopilot, and could be different for every race or hull.

Von Keigai said...

Get rid of racial transports altogether. Make them all ORE. Tier the industrials according to cargo capacity, with smaller ones being faster and nimbler. The largest should be a bit larger than now, i.e., it can carry 40000m^3 with a 40000 EHP tank.

For transports, create one new type, the, um, "Cargo Transport". It should be closer to an Orca in size, with lower requirements. Perhaps 80000m^3 and 140000 EHP (tanked).

Remove cargo expanders altogether, as they are realism-wise ridiculous. Or at least make them give additive, not multiplicative, bonuses. Similarly get rid of skill-based bonuses to cargo hold size, also ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Proof of ship design stupidity = blockade runners. Seriously, repair bonus on a transport ship? It's the second worst bonus in EVE, just behind the unspeakably shitty drone subsystem for the proteus.

DJ Thoris said...

Q-ships. Look like industrials or mining ships both visually and on scan, actually combat ships (though weaker than a purpose built combat ship).

DJ Thoris said...

Probably all kinds of unforeseen impacts, but maybe someone else can refine it: Make the "modular" Iteron industrials actually modular. Maybe use a variation of the Tech3 subsystems approach or just make it it a Tech3 vessel. Making it a tech3 industrial would give something justifiably extra for the builder/hauler types to skill into.

Sir Hank said...

-equal sized cargo holds across the races, so the motivation for flying one race over another comes from other ship bonuses rather than "Iteron is fucking huge"

-Perhaps an industrial could fit a ship refitting module of some kind, for small gang support in space, at the expense of cargo space.

-More utility high spots.

-Racial specific defensive bonuses. (EWAR or Tank)

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