Rubicon: EAF Balance, Sisters of Eve Ships & More

CCP unloaded a veritable torrent of Rubicon information on the playerbase today. In this article, we'll take a look at new Sisters of Eve ships, Electronic Attack Frigate rebalancing, and Command Ship models. See our other article for coverage of the Interceptor & warp speed changes.

Checking in on Marauders

This was actually a few days ago, but as it was buried four thousand posts deep, it slipped by many people's attention. When SiSi goes live October 7th, it will feature the original redesign for Marauders so that players can actually fool around with them before CCP commits to (or ditches) the version two changes. For those that don't recall, that means they'll retain the current resist profiles and only receive bonus resists in Bastion Mode, and will be keeping the 37.5% tank bonuses.

Aura of Command

The Drake and its ilk have been in the game for a very long time, but Command Ships have continued to share the same original Battlecruiser model. No more! Four of the Command Ships will be changing to match the Tech I Battlecruiser that shares their weapon type. The Absolution will take on the form of a Harbinger and don the deep crimson of Carthum ships. The Eos will naturally take after the Myrmidon, sporting the greens players are familiar with from the Ishtar or Ishkur. The Nighthawk will utilize the Drake hull, with the red highlights shared by all ships of Kaalakiota manufacture. Finally, the Sleipnir will use the Hurricane, and its clean(er) lines will show off Boundless Creation's mottled brown camoflauge better than other ships by that manufacturer.

CCP Fozzie created a gallery of screenshots which you can view here.

Sisters of Eve

Of course, the big news in the "that looks awesome" department are the new Sisters of Eve faction ships. Go ahead and drool - I'll wait.

The Sisters of Eve are a religion based humanitarian aid group who also pursue scientific research to study the EVE Gate. As befitting such a group, their new ships are exploration themed. Covops cloaks, exploration bonuses, drone and laser weapons and large bays to enable extended trips and extremely high agility all support this theme. Throw it all in a blender, and you've got a fairly capable and versitile set of ships.

The frigate is called the Astero. On top of the exploration bonuses, it features an armor resist bonus and a 20% bonus to drone hitpoints. A 2/4/4 slot layout supports two turrets, while 540 shields and 600 armor & structure puts it on par with other faction frigates from an EHP perspective. Low mass means that it aligns almost as fast as a Daredevil, although it's a good bit slower on account of a 312m/s base speed - the Daredevil does 384m/s, by comparison.

So where does that leave it? I'd say it won't stand out, but it's a solid ship all around. Four mids and four lows gives it plenty of choices when it comes to fit, and the option for a covops cloak excuses the otherwise relatively low damage.

Where the Astero is merely solid, the Stratios is downright beastly and (I'm afraid to say) very likely a bit too good. It's got four turrets with a 5/5/5 slot layout paired with an armor resist bonus and a 10% drone hitpoints and damage bonus. It's as though a Vexor and a Maller had a child, which grew up and hit the steroids. 125mbit of bandwidth is backed up by a whopping 500m3 drone bay, allowing its pilot to field a full flight of heavy drones with three more sets in reserve.  Like its smaller brother, it's agile without being fast - it falls between a Cynabal and a Vigilant in terms of align time, but will top out around 1800m/s without links or heat.

I'm not really doing it justice here, however, so let's make sure this is put into perspective. A flight of Ogre IIs are 475 DPS on their own, before any damage mods. The guns, should I elect to use them, can add up to 130 DPS or so with Scorch, meaning we've potentially got the highest damage covops cloaked ship in the game already. Want to go further? Shield tank it and slap some Drone Damage Amplifiers into your lows, and your drones alone do nearly 800 DPS. Or skip the damage mods entirely, fill your mids with utility ewar, and field a 500 DPS armor tank instead. Basically, this ship is really, really good.

Don't get too excited quite yet, though. According to CCP Rise, "[a] 900 dps covert cloaking cruiser [would be] way too much]" and, well... guess how much DPS Ogre IIs with three DDA II and lasers deals? Time will tell whether the ship reaches Tranquility in this form or not.

Electronic Attack Frigates

Formerly the least used ship class in EVE, EAFs are the third of four classes that will be balanced in Rubicon, and they've gotten some hefty buffs in an effort to make them appealing. All four have received significant increases in the range bonuses attached to the Electronic Attack Ship skill, as well as vastly increased lock ranges and a ~50% increase in cap recharge. Meanwhile, global (albeit small) buffs to base HP and max velocity bring them more in line with their Tech I counterparts. Only the Hyena received any unique changes, shedding the old MWD capacitor use bonus for a bonus to target painter optimal range.

What Else?

CCP has already announced that many of these changes will be live on SiSi on the 7th. That thread also has a few clues regarding other features that haven't received much coverage yet. To many people, the most significant amongst them is "SMA wrecks". I'll leave you to conclude just what that means.

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