SCAS as Kirith has handed over the baton, and our 64th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.
Torpedo! Torpedo! Torpedo!
With the Aegis release we will see missile boats get their own version of the tracking enhancer and the tracking computer. On the forums there have been calls for new 'missile defence eWar' to counter these new modules. Is this needed? Are smartbomb 'firewalls' enough? Do defender missiles need an overhaul to make them actually worth using? Do we need the missile version of the remote tracking disruptor? Or do we go all Star Trek and have Point-Defence Phaser Banks? Banter on!
I've been playing Eve so long now that I've watched the world turn not once but multiple times around the meta, the useless, the OP, the accepted doctrines, and all the things we should be doing, shouldn't be doing, and wish we could do. I suspect that many vets, like myself, often find it difficult to remember where we are at the moment. Especially now, when the world shifts beneath our feet every few weeks.
One constant throughout my Eve career has been the general suckage of missiles. It was so bad when I started playing that you could be openly mocked for picking Caldari as your starter race. (Back in those days the race you started with actually meant something.) As it was obvious that the other three races started the game with a significant leg up. You had to actually apply damage to get on killmails back then, and missiles are sloooow. I probably left hundreds of potential kms in space because of that. It was so bad it became an eternal "Can I bring my Drake" meme that will never go away.
When missiles finally get some much needed love it is difficult to see things clearly. There can be no doubt that the entire weapon system, across the board, needs some serious help. Especially the middle ranks, the Heavies mostly have been meta'd into almost irrelevance during the past two years. Unless they are "Rapid" and then they might be cool. But the problem with missiles goes much, much deeper than that. Defenders? I bet a lot of players don't even know they exist.
The new modules alone are not going to solve the issues that missiles (in general) have been fighting. The entire weapon system is starting so far behind now that these new modules are simply a way to hurdle over years of neglect. The entire line-up of available missiles needs tiered and re-done. Each ship class needs bonuses that make sense and that properly scale by ship class. And the excess that has plagued the entire enterprise needs to be dealt with properly. Two new modules are a big step in the right direction and I hope they are only the beginning.
So all of that brings us to today. Will we need counters to missile spam? My initial reaction is HAHAHAHAHA! You gotta be kidding, right? Between ECM, transversal, instant gun damage, linked target speed, and everything else already stacked against missiles - the last thing we need are even more reasons to stop using them. We're already starting from so far behind, why push it even further? Granted, we may need something down the road but that remains to be seen. Why jump the gun?
From what I've been able to see fitting these new modules is going to seriously affect other areas on missile boats, pushing the envelope even further on tanks, and other options. Those modules take slots, slots that won't be doing something they were doing before. Which is a classic example of a Buff/Nerf combo. Good news, bad news.
As usual I care less about the technical side and more about the impact changes have on the actual game. Which are often two completely different things. I suspect that these changes will have a small effect on the current state of affairs, slightly buffing the general missile platforms and bringing them back from the darkness. But I don't see them having a major impact as currently proposed. Again, in general.
So count me firmly in the "wait and see" camp. Let's see what happens. Goodness knows, in a few weeks it could all change again.