Thursday, 17 October 2013

A Merc's Thoughts On The Interdictor Changes

So while I'm at home with the family for a few days, I won't be able to play any Dust and very limited amounts of EVE. I still have time to write on my laptop though, so I'll be able to get a couple blogs done while I'm here.

Anyway, the new Interdictor changes coming in Rubicon were announced and since destroyers are still the primary means for planetary bombardment, the tech 2 variant is important to anyone looking to shoot up some districts.

Lets get the Flycatcher and the Heretic out of the way first. If either of these ships used turrets they would be the kings of small turret orbitals. The Flycatcher has the highest potential hp of it's hull size and would most likely have made an amazing rail boat. The Heretic has a great slot layout to support both a tank and a scram/web combo. Along with it's resist bonus and naturally great Amarr resist profile, a 6 or 7 laser Heretic could have been the best solo planet bomber in the game.

Both of those ships can still serve as good support vessels for any small bombing fleet though. The Flycatcher has a whopping 5 mid slots and the Heretic gets 2 utility mids as well. There's still a chance these ships might be changed before the expansion hits, but it's doubtful they will suddenly become turret ships in this balance pass.

The Eris is interesting to say the least. The potential from it's 4 low slots gives it a chance at running dual plates with a resist mod and a rack of small rails. It's problem comes in that it only gets 4 turret slots (and 4 launcher slots). A 4 turret orbital might be viable when the new mechanics come in, but for now it has to compete with the precision strike. Is a 4 turret hybrid strike worth it over a precision? Probably not and certainly not enough to justify risking a tech 2 destroyer over. With the new mechanics it could potential work as a solo kiter and being able to simultaneously fight people with missiles while bombing has it's merits, but there are better options.

There's a large amount of people against the split weapon system idea, so CCP may yet back down on it and go for a 6, 7 or even 8 turret version (a man can hope). If that becomes the case, the Eris will be the best planetary bomber in the game.

The future king of planetary bombardment is looking to be this next ship, the Sabre. With it's 4 mid slots and 7 turrets, it can fit 2 medium shield extenders and an adaptive hardner for an amazing tank (which also regens on it's own). The problem however, is that it uses projectile weapons. Tactical EMP S is often referred to as the "fluffy cloud orbital" because of it's complete lack of killing power (as well as looking like fluffy clouds). It could be used in clearing large areas of equipment or throwing down on a battle while armour based infantry and vehicles charge in. Sadly those are niche situations and have less application than the alternatives that can murder vehicles and clear swathes of infantry.

With this in mind, it's possible that a 75mm rail Sabre could be brought in since you mostly want it for the tank. Rails can hit out quite far with Spike, giving it a small amount of combat utility between bombings and being able to obliterate decent sized areas on the ground that it's aimed at. I guess the hardest part will be explaining the kill mail of a Sabre with 7 small rails, 3 tank mods in it's mids, a 1mn afterburner, a damage control and a magstab.

But hey, maybe they'll change their mind on the other 3 ships.

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