The raw damage that ships are capable of is an easily calculated figure, and has become one of the primary means of comparing PvP fits and ships. This is a logical comparison to make, as all of the qualities that a combat ship possess are directly geared towards applying DPS (ex. tracking and projection) or mitigating enemy DPS (ex. EWAR and mobility). The problem is that often the quoted DPS value of a ship - what EFT warriors refer to as "paper DPS" - is only a small part of the story. How much damage is actually delivered to an enemy structure or vessel is dependent on numerous variables, some of which are commonly overlooked or simplified.
This is to say: Knowing your DPS potential is easy, knowing your applied DPS is not.
On the 7th of October, CCP Rise released the first batch of information regarding a new missile launcher for battleship sized platforms. This new weapon system is being referred to as a Rapid Heavy Missile Launcher (RHML) and is essentially a sized up version of the Rapid Light Missile Launchers (RLML) currently in existence.
The launchers themselves feature a 38% reduction in rate of fire (ROF) from the native cruiser based heavy missile launchers (HML), with all meta variations being introduced including officer versions. In regards to acquisition and production of these new modules, CCP Rise stated the following:
As you can see, we are going to put in a full range of meta levels for rapid heavy launchers and they will all be attained in the same way you would get the cruise or torpedo launcher counterpart at a given meta. They will drop at the same rates and obtained at the same LP. The manufacturing costs will be between the cost of torpedo and cruiser launchers which should lead to prices that are very similar.
Also explained in the initial post by CCP Rise was a of goals that the introduction of RHMLs was meant to accomplish:
- Expands the fitting options available to battleship sized missile users
- Open up new tactics for battleship sized missile users
- Add continuity to medium sized missile systems
Furthermore, CCP Rise outlined the high level design criteria for the RHMLs which governed their specific design:
- Fire heavy missiles
- Have a higher rate of fire than normal heavy launchers
- Have lower overall dps than cruise or torpedo launchers
- Be easier to fit than cruise or torpedo launchers
It's worthwhile to note that point three in CCP Rise's criteria for design is referring to paper damage, not applied damage as we will see. With the numbers released on the ROF from the proposed launcher system, I decided to take an closer look at how they will actually perform compared to the existing battleship missile weapon systems.