Armor Tanking 2.0

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Note to readers: I'm aware of the AAR using Nanite Paste. This is what happens when there are 3-4 days between writing and publication. :| He even talked about lowering the requirements a little for active repping, though made no promises.
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I believe the Incursus will be keeping it's 10% bonus for now.
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Hopefully the new skill "Armor Upgrades" will help out with the wormhole life and help lift some of the difficulties of moving armor T3's and ships in and out of the wormhole.
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You do leave out the downs side that most armor tanked ships get a damage bonus that makes up for using lowslots for tank - shield tanking ships are more likely to need the lows to make up damage and trade midslot flexibility for having a tank. The old maxim of only pick two from solo, tank and caldari still rings largely true.
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Being a gallente pilot that very much enjoys the neutron cannon/MWD combo; I think these changes are great! Great to the extent that I would happily have CCP Fozies babies :)
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Id say there is one more issue with armor tanking. Since every weapon upgrade but the tracking comp is a low power module you have to compromise between dps and tank. Not so with shield tanking.
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I got the impression this article was focused on the changes to armor tanking. I am not sure what you mean by "The old maxim of only pick two from solo, tank and caldari"" Would you care to explain??
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And you have to compromise between e-war, and tank on shield tankers..... so what?
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Agreed, any slot on a ship can be used for other useful things, its always a trade-off. The problem Fozzie is fixing is that compared to shield tanking armor tanking was under powered in every aspect.
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I kinda disagree with "compared to shield tanking, armor tanking was under powered in every aspect". No question if your going to roam you'll always go with shield, and probably nano fit, as armor is so sluggish. So yes, in mobility they are underpowered, but even well fitting a damage mod they typically out tank shield fits, they are much less susceptible to bombing runs, and usually fit more e-war, which can among other things dictate range of the fight, even if they don`t have the mobility to do it. Well I will admit they are somewhat unbalanced, saying shield beats armor in every aspect is somewhat ridiculous really.
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You have to fit tackle on the mids. And the availability of the oversized 1600mm plate really helps reduce the number of low slots you need to buffer tank with armor vs shield. You don't see many 3x1600mm fits while 3xLSEs are normal on battleships.On the active tanking side, you get to fit a cap booster on the mids to keep you repairing longer, this advantage was somewhat diminished by the ASB, but it's still nice to have some neut immunity.
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Might make predicting mass a mess with closing fleets though.
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New update, we're planning at the moment to reduce the powergrid use on medium and large armor reps.Mediums by 20%Larges by 10%We were hoping to get these and all the other latest versions of the changes up on Sisi today, but we had an unrelated issue with our Sisi build system. ETA for Sisi is as soon as possible, sorry for the delay.
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That's the problem though - mobility in EvE is everything. Furthermore, these armor ships have the option of blasters which, because of the ship's low speed, rarely get into range.
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The entire point of shield tanking is less hp then armor but you are faster and can use lows for damage mods, however you also have a larger sig radius, the argument that "armor is slower then shield and therefore needs change" is not a good one, because that is like stating the reverse that shield tanking is worse when it comes to bombing runs, or pure ehp, adn therefore needs change, besides caldari ships are so slow they usually have the speed of an armor tanked ship
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I'm still not convinced the Brutix should have an active tanking bonus.
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He's stating that there is a saying that you can only choose two of the three options; if you want to solo and have a tank, you can't fly Caldari. If you want to fly Caldari and have a tank, you can't fly solo (lack of tackle). If you want to fly Caldari solo, you can't fit a tank.He also added a caveat that there are some Caldari ships that can fly solo and have a tank at the end.
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In those zowie Rooks-and-Kings videos, I get the impression that the RnK doctrine calls for remote-repaired armor tanks fitted for resistance rather than for raw hit-points.Would someone knowledgeable please comment on (a) why that might be and (b) how that relates to the topic under discussion here?
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I like the armor changes so far, but if they change the system so that armor tanking is just like shield tanking but with flexible mids, and shield tanking is just like armor tanking but with flexible lows, I think it would be a massive mistake.
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Your raw hitpoints are just how many hitpoints your ship has, but the important number is your EHP (effective hitpoints), which is hitpoints/(1-resists). So, the higher your resists, the larger your EHP. Likewise, the higher your resists, the more EHP a repairer of any kind is able to repair. 1000 points repaired is just 1000 EHP with zero resists, but 2000 EHP if you've got 50% resists. For what it's worth, the RnK doctrine (like most remote rep oriented doctrines) actually almost certainly fits for both resists AND raw hitpoints, because stacking penalties mean you'll get more out of a plate (for example) than a 4th or 5th resist module, and you need the hitpoints to survive the damage until repairers cycle on you.As for how that relates to the topic here...armor buffer fits are generally superior to active tanks, especially at the cruiser and battlecruiser level - an 800mm plate is the equivalent of one minute's worth of tanking from a medium repairer, or two minutes for a 1600mm plate. That's a long damn time. The ancillary repper is meant to address that somewhat, as it cuts the time required to match a plate in half. Plus, the rigs you use for the active tank currently slow you down just the same as the rigs you use, making the active tank even less attractive; the changes fix that by removing the speed penalty to active tank rigs. What Fozzie is trying to do is make active tanking more attractive, at least in small engagements - buffers are still attractive in larger fights, since your local repair capacity means less and less the more ships are shooting at you, whereas you can always add more remote repairers to keep you alive (at least until you take so much damage that you're destroyed before repairers cycle...)
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a good way to fix the 50mm plates is to make also include a resistance modifier (omni) thus giving them a special place say +10 across the board then you can on one slot get both a resistance bonus and bit bonus to hp.
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Thanks for the comprehensive explanation!
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Still says nothing about my PSB Venture with medium shield extenders...I've yet to find a better "that ship's not for PvP" pointing ship. It beats the Dramiel, hands down.
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Slapping on a patch instead of fixing the hole.Better than nothing i guess

CCP Fozzie is continuing his 'rebalance everything' spree. After much speculation about changes to armor tanking, his thread has been posted. Let's dive right in.

The State of Armor Now

To start, we should contrast armor and shield tanking in Eve. Armor features lots of hitpoints (and receives the oversized passive as a result in the form of the 1600mm plate) and a slow, steady and efficient repair style. By contrast, shield tanking thematically favors bursty, rapid but inefficient repairs, and consequently has the oversized repair option in the form of the X-Large Shield Booster. In theory, armor tanks are in for the long haul, while shield tanks are sprinters. However, over the years, a few problems have arisen.

Problem number one with active armor tanking is that while its strength is not an outright liability in PvP, it's certainly not very favorable. With the relatively lengthy cycle and the rep coming on the end, armor tanking reacts poorly to sudden damage compared to the short cycle front-loaded rep offered by shield boosters. The difference was only exacerbated by the introduction of the Ancillary Shield Booster line of modules. Dual or triple repping strategies are the only real way for armor tanks to achieve any sort of on-demand burst, and carry the obvious downside of significant fitting and capacitor problems.

Problem number two is that armor tanking makes you slow. Plates add mass, adversely affecting both speed and agility. Rigs of all kinds further exacerbate the issue, conferring a penalty to the impulse velocity of any ship fitting them. It all combines to put armor fleets at a disadvantage for any movement at all (like pursuing or fleeing from hostiles and even just getting around), to say nothing of the invaluable ability to dictate range once actually in combat.

Problem three is fitting. Both armor and shield tanking setups can fit buffer modules to ships that they're "too small" for, which results in everything from medium shield extended Merlins to 1600mm plated Mallers and Vexors. That's definitely not the case when it comes to active tanking, however. It's entirely possible to fit a Medium ASB Merlin, but good luck doing an MAR fit Incursus. Particularly when combined with ASBs, this only furthers the advantages of local shield over local armor tanks.

What's Changing?

Armor Rigs Updated formerly incorrect bonus on the Overcharger.

    • New rig called the Nanobot Overcharger that increased the overheat bonus on your local armor reps by 100% (120% for T2). So with one of the T1 rigs overheating gives the rep 20% more rep amount and 30% faster rate of fire instead of the default 10% and 15% respectively. This effect is stacking penalized and gives no bonus when the reps are not overheated. Same calibration and build costs as a Aux Nano or Nanobot Acc rig. As of 1/22 Fozzie is pulling this rig until further notice. "I started off with an early mistake with this rig and we're not going to re-add it until its properly balanced."
    • Change the penalty on all active armor rigs (Aux Nano Pump, Nanobot Accelerator, and the new Nanobot Overcharger) to increase the powergrid use of local armor reps by 10% instead of reducing ship velocity. Note this is increasing the PG use of the reps by 10% (or 5% at Armor Rigging V) not decreasing the total PG of the ship.

Plates

    • Add a new skill to the game called Armor Upgrades. This skill reduces the mass penalty of all armor plates by 5% per level. (Int/Mem, rank 3, requires Mechanics 3) This skill affects all plates (including 1600mm) and is separate from the stat change listed below.
    • Reduce the base mass penalty on all 800mm, 200mm and 50mm plates by 20%

Ancillary Armor Repairer

  • Not the same mechanic as the ASB, please read to the end.
  • Always uses the same cap as a normal (T1/T2/Named) Armor Repper
  • When not loaded with a cap booster, has 3/4 the rep amount as a T1 Armor Repairer
  • Loaded cap boosters triple rep amount (so reps 2.25x a T1 repairer when loaded)
  • Uses nanite repair paste as a repair augmentor
  • Repairers will hold 8 cycles worth of paste; smalles use 1 per cycle, mediums 5, and larges 10
  • Same cycle time and fittings as T1 reps
  • Same capacity, charge restrictions and reload time as an ASB, but the longer cycle time of armor reps means it goes longer between reloads
  • Limited to one per ship

One point of miscellanea: The Incursus is having its rep bonus nerfed, lowered to 7.5% from 10% to bring it in line with its larger brothers. This is because it would otherwise be, in Fozzie's words, "wtfbbqop".

The Good, the Bad and the Missing

The good is short and sweet: Fozzie has addressed the primary downsides to active armor tanking in a single stroke. Furthermore, he offers armor tanks an option to retain their mobility and more clearly increases the distinction between active and passive tanks. Buffer tanks will fittingly remain slow and brick-like, whereas active fits will be fast, with the option for some decidedly potent tanks. To quote Grath on the forums, "Considering that a bonused hull will massively outrep a non bonused hull, AND that the newly redone gallent [sic] hulls are all agile as hell, AND wont be slowed by their armor parts now, I'd say that they're going to be an absolute terror to deal with."

The bad? Shield tanking retains the distinct advantage of unhampered mobility whether fielding a local tank or a buffer based remote rep tank. The mass reduction skill as well as tweaks to 800mm plates and 200mm plates (even Fozzie admits 50mm are pointless) help in that regard, but it's not perfect. However, that's an issue related to local vs remote repairing in general, not armor specifically. Needless to say, if CCP decides it's a problem, everyone eagerly awaits Fozzie's solution.

The missing? Further balance adjustments. "Problem three" remains, and could be addressed by either fitting tweaks or adjusting shield tanking as well. I'd favor the latter, and leave further tweaks (if necessary) for after adjustments to remote repairing. The limits on AARs hint at further tweaks to ASBs as well. With the way Fozzie has been working lately, he seems to have a private line on a meth dealer, so if such changes are in the pipeline I expect we'll see them before long! Sure to be coming is a pass on capital tanking: "I'm hoping to do a more focused pass on capital tanking at some future point with one of the goals being to make bonuses consistent between capital and non-capital reps (without breaking everything)".

 


Editor's Note: Updated with the latest from CCP Fozzie regarding cap boosters/nanite repair paste.

Mynnna
Seven year veteran & economics guru of EVE Online as well as CSM 8 representative. On the side I play PS2, WOT and Hearthstone.