I'm personally most excited about the Raven changes, seeing as I have one sat in my hangar (although I'm personally expecting some gnashing of teeth from religious L4 runners due to the loss of utility and paper DPS), but a lot of these are lining up to be seriously fun toys to play with. Scorpion looks to be generally solid as all hell but that's nothing new. Guess I should probably train Cruise Missiles to 5.Not really a big flyer of Gallente or Amarr so not going to comment greatly on the Mega, Dominix or Armageddon from they look like pretty solid ships.I have to admit, I'm personally expecting it more likely to see Typhoons running missile fits than guns as the ROF bonus favours autocannons, and at those engagement ranges missiles are probably just going to work better, but perhaps there's a future as some kind of comedy oversized rapid alpha Tornado fleet there. Though that role is probably going to fall far more readily in the Navy Apoc's lap - and with a Micro Jump Drive shoehorned in (if it can be done, this is just some in-head theorycrafting) they're going to be terrifying.
CCP Rise continues to wave his balancing wand around and reworked the Navy Battleships with only a few weeks to go before Odyssey. As has been the case with everything he's done, reactions are mixed, and someone hates everything... but when isn't that the case? There's always a whiner, so I'm sure he doesn't let it get to him. Let's have a look at them for ourselves; stats can be found here.
Apocalypse Navy Issue
As quite a lot of people expected, the Navy Apocalypse inherits the traits of its new Tech I counterpart, shedding the large energy turret cap use bonus for a 7.5% per level bonus to tracking speed instead. I don't really need to talk about how good that is. As it's shifted into the Attack role, it winds up shedding a few hundred armor HP, but also loses some sig radius. The most notable other changes are the gain of 475 extra grid, which unfortunately isn't quite enough to fit Tachyons, and some large tweaks to its mobility. With the resulting 150m/s base speed and 10.8s align time, it's as fast as nearly anything in the Minmatar arsenal.
Armageddon Navy Issue
The whole deal with the Fleet Hurricane feels like it's going to become some sort of trope, or would if we weren't just about done with Tech I balancing. The new Navy Armageddon is a souped up version of its current self. It fits into the combat role, and so picks up just over 1500 armor HP. It also enjoys a buff to its capacitor size (despite the slower regen it's a net gain in cap/second), its sensor strength, and a massive upgrade to its drone bay, kicking it up to 375m3. The one downside is the massive increase to its signature radius as a result of its new Combat status. It'll be interesting to see if anyone takes advantage of the new and improved version of this ship as a sort of brawler 'Foxcat'. Don't expect it to be PL, however - from what I hear, they're in love with the new version of the Apocalypse.
Raven Navy Issue
This is basically an overgrown Navy Drake, and it's awesome. While the loss of the ROF bonus is a paper DPS downgrade, it's more than made up for with a bonus to explosion radius. In essence, the ship trades 16% of its damage against anything larger than an Attack Battleship like the Tempest for a 12.5% bonus against anything smaller. It's a pretty damn good trade, all things considered. Like the Apocalypse, the Raven loses some of its hitpoints, but drops in sig as well, and gets a whole lot lot faster. The capacitor also gets an enormous buff, picking up over 10% more capacity and recharging just a hair faster to boot.
Scorpion Navy Issue
The Scorpion is moving into the Combat role and keeps its current bonuses, aside from the global nerf to resist bonuses. Perhaps the biggest news is that it picks up a fifth low, as it was short one slot for no reason at all. A massive increase to shield HP is only slightly offset by an increase in sig radius, and it picks up a little bit of extra grid to top things off. This is one of the ships CCP Rise identified as possibly up for rebalance in the future, given the significant buff it's getting from the new Cruise Missiles.
Megathron Navy Issue
Like the Apocalypse, the Navy Megathron is changing to be a larger version of its Tech I brother, with all that that implies. An extra 25 CPU goes even further to compensate for the cramped fitting on the normal Megathron. Otherwise, the changes are very minor. One thing worth pointing out, though, is that unlike the Tech I version, the Navy Megathron keeps its 125mbit/175m3 drone bay, allowing for a full flight of sentries with room left over for support drones. While it's still at a bit of a disadvantage compared to the Vindicator for solo or small gang work, I think it has a lot of potential as a fleet ship. Take the ability to actually fit a fleet setup (I've said it before, but the Tech I Megathron needs about 30 more CPU at a minimum) and throw in a flight of Sentry drones. That gets you 150k EHP, upwards of 930 DPS with faction Antimatter and Garde IIs, and impressive mobility - 1033m/s with the MWD and a sub-10 second align time. Don't be surprised if you see fleets of these start popping up.
Dominix Navy Issue
The Navy Dominix is the other 'throwback', like the Navy Armageddon. It's got the same slot layout and bonuses as both flavors of the existing Dominix, except with a fat extra chunk of EHP and fitting as is befitting its new Combat role. There's not a whole lot else to say about it. Unsurprisingly, there are just as many people complaining that it's not a clone of the new Tech I Dominix as there are people complaining that the Tech I Dominix changed at all.
Typhoon Fleet Issue
For example, CCP Rise hinted very strongly that the Typhoon Fleet Issue would remain a split bonus ship. In the spirit of the Scythe Fleet Issue, perhaps we'll see a 7/5/8 slot layout that retains the 5/5 weapon slots with the gunnery bonus bumped up to 7.5% per level.
So, called that one, sort of. I was wrong about the slot layout - it's 8/5/7 - but in hindsight that's not too surprising, given that the ship is supposed to be for "pilots who love the extreme versatility that Matar can offer". What says "extreme versatility" more than two utility highslots? How about a 125mbit/200m3 drone bay and 6 7.5% ROF bonused turrets or (the other surprise) 6 7.5% damage bonused launcher slots?
On top of everything else, the ship gets a fat chunk of extra capacitor (somewhat offset by a slower cap recharge, though it's a net increase in recharge rate), some extra shields, and upward tweaks to its already impressive mobility. The thing is seriously fast; if you want to relive the old Nanophoon days, you've got no problem getting up to 1600m/s unheated and still aligning in under 10s - with the MWD on.
Tempest Fleet Issue
Last up is the Tempest. As was originally planned with the Tech I Tempest, the Fleet Tempest becomes a Combat battleship, albeit with unusually high speed and low sig for a combat ship. It's actually slightly faster and has a slightly smaller sig radius than the Tech I Tempest, in fact. Apart from that, it's the same ship, just a little better. It picks up some extra fitting, EHP, cap capacity, and targeting range.
Typhoon vs Raven
So, which of these ships is better? As you'd expect, it's subject to plenty of debate, but I think they're about even. As far as raw damage output goes, they're close, within 10% of each other except with a 3x BCS II Torpedo Typhoon. However, 3 BCS II compromises the Typhoon's already smaller tank, so it's not an unreasonable edge. The large drone bay and utility highs give the Typhoon plenty of capabilities against smaller ships, but then again the Raven can blast them outright, especially with Cruise Missiles. Speedwise, they're about even if the Typhoon is armor tanked, though an ASB tanked nano-Raven has amusing potential. All told, the tradeoffs between the two ships are, in my opinion, very well matched.
That's all on the battleship front, but we'll close with a little sneak peak of the future.
Of course, no promises in terms of order or anything - but the short list includes things like medium rails, hacs, eafs, beams, some other t2 classes like inties/maurders, and some other mods which i don't want to name atm incase they get pushed back awhile. =)