Do We Need Tier-3 Battlecruisers?
So Jester has written about the new Tier-3 battlecruiser information that has been leaked. They look great…. but here’s the thing: Will anyone ever use a Tier-1 battlecruiser any more? Does anyone even use them at all? Should we have been balancing ships that exist before we add new ones?
Some one will eventually make the “Tier-1 battlecruisers cost less than Tier-2” argument. If you can afford the 20-30m ISK for a Tier-1 BC, you can afford the 30-40m ISK for a Tier-2 BC. It’s really not much difference for what is a substantially better class of ship.
Let’s take a quick look at the Tier-1 battlecruisers.
Prophecy: The Amarr tier-1 BC has a big tank as you’d expect from an Amarr ship. On the other hand, it’s slow, it does poor damage, and only fits six guns. The Tier-2 Harbringer can do significantly more DPS due to bonus and 7 gun slots, has the same speed, more power grid, and better base armor and shield HPs.
The only time I’ve seen a Prophecy seriously used is as a bait ship. With Battlecruiser V, a bunch of plates, and some resist mods, it can sport a lot of EHP for a BC hull. Just don’t expect to do any useful damage with it.
Ferox: The Ferox has the same bonus to shield resists as the Drake, but it has one less mid slot – key for shield tanks – and less base shield EHP. With a bonus to hybrid optimal range, it manages to make blaster suck less, but that isn’t saying much. On top of this, it’s even slower than the Prophecy! Good luck getting in range for blasters. With only six gun slots verus the Drake’s seven missile slots, you won’t be doing much damage either.
I don’t know of anyone seriously using the Ferox, but if you’ve got a reason, post it up. I have heard of some odd fits with autocannons, but these are the stuff of comedy.
Brutix: The Brutix is perhaps the best of the Tier-1 battlecruisers. With seven gun slots, a damage bonus, and an armor repair bonus, the Brutix is able to do a lot of DPS and a lot of tanking. The weakness of the Brutix is the weakness of Gallente ships in general: Hybrids aren’t that good. If they get fixed as rumors say, the Brutix may get a lot more popular. The other weakness is that you need a lot of speed to get into range for blasters; a microwarpdrive plus blasters plus armor repair is a lot of capacitor.
The most common role lately for the Brutix is that of a suicide gank ship. Is anyone using them in PvP, and if so, how?
Cyclone: The Cyclone has all the weaknesses of Minmatar ships and not much to help it out. Eight high slots will let you fit five guns and three launchers, but only the guns are damaged bonused, and for ROF instead of pure damage. The lack of powergrid compared to the Hurricane increases the difficulty in working around the issues. The shield boosting bonus looks good on paper, but the Cyclone’s shield resists work against this – the EM hole in particular.
I don’t see much reason for using a Cyclone when a speed-fit Hurricane will run circles around the other guy and do a ton more damage at the same time.
Comments? What would you do about the Tier-1 battlecruisers? Do they have a role besides “slightly cheaper”?