I really like Tech 3 cruisers. With the recent (or not so recent, my temporal sense is slightly off) changes to POS’s that allows for the entire product to be built and used in Wormholes without any interference outside, i like them even more. What initially started out in 2009 as a gimmicky set of ships that people had no idea where they would go came into their own as first a set of very powerful missioning and PvE ships (the Tengu), A deadly solo and small gang pvp ( The Vagaloki, the Stealthy Loki, others) and in more recent years as a fleet boat (the Thundercat Tengu, and the Web Loki in the recent fountain war) While the Proteus and Legion aren’t seen as much as i would hope, Tech 3 cruisers have been a resounding success.
So why stop there?
I’ve often wondered if CCP had Tech 3 Frigates and Battleships in the works, but 4 years later i’ve had to sadly concede that for whatever reason, Tech 3 frigs and BSs got shelved or was never really considered. Maybe it was a feeling that neither frigates, or particularly battleships should have the kind of flexibility that pretty much comes with the “tech III” label. Maybe they thought, that if you apply a similar price extrapolation between cruisers and battleships to Tech 3 you would end up with a ship that would cost far too much for anyone to actually fly, and conversely a frigate that everyone would. Maybe the introduction of battleships and frigates would endanger the existing cruisers.
Well what can I say to that?
Rarely, if ever do i think that new content makes this game poorer. Rarely, if ever does it make pre-existing ships obsolete, and only literally years of patching do the ships right at the button of the pile become in need of serious rebalancing (t1 frigates and cruisers come to mind). I think we can all agree that Tech 3 cruisers are in no danger of this happening.
The other assumption, that battleships should be inherently inflexible, big, slow, plodding constructions that exist solely to have large amounts of EHP, and deal a large amount damage I strongly disagree with. A ship’s verastility shouldn’t be limited by it’s size. In fact the carrier is a living monument of how that is far from the case.
In fact, Tech II development of Battleships have mostly fallen by the wayside. While there are more Tech II cruisers and frigates than i can name, there’s only two sets of tech II battleships, both of which have been rendered largely obsolete by the times. Blops were never really viable in anything but a strictly logistical role, and with the advent of the Noctis, Maruaders have virtually fallen off the map.
Once again, the only remaining roles are PVP ones, and i suppose CCP feels that no one Pvpers in very expensive ships. Which as tens of thousands of blingy kill mails have told us, that is evidently not true. I think i would not be alone in calling for a sniper Tech II battleship that would get bonuses to the new Micro Jump Drive that CCP has given us to play with. But I digress.
Point is, that if a tech III battleship was built, then it will be used, even if it costs into the billions. Highsec mission runners have been without a ship to advance to to cap off their career since 2009. People can wand will fly such ships in PvP. Of course that might just be the problem. If you have a tech III battleship, and we extrapolate the same level of power from a Tech III cruiser, that leaves you with a super ship that might well be in possession of firepower and tank far in excess of anything else that anyone else might be able to conceivably throw at it.
This would be awkward for several reasons, even though since these things would cost in the level of capitals, (or more) I doubt they’d see excessive fleet action- Although I wouldn’t put it past people like PL putting several hundred of them on the field. But for everyone else-
The Mission runner has configured his tech III battleship to be a mega-raven. With a tank so obscenely large, there would be a serious risk of the would be ninja ganker simply being incapable of breaking the tank of the offending T3. In lo-sec pvp a fleet of these things could literally blow anything out of the water that doesn’t do caps (especially if the Gallente one has a drone set up). However, this is already mostly true with other ships like the vindicator and other pirate faction battleships. I’ve seen pirate faction battleship roams by hydra reloaded and we form voltron in nullsec.
Such roams have two consequences- the local scene of mirco gangs (think pairs and trios) and solo players clear out, while as news of the roam spreads, it attracts larger and more ambitious gangs that want to bag for themselves a blingy Killmail. Flying something shiny in pvp is a dare for people to come kill you, and i see absolutely no reason why this dynamic wouldn’t be the same with tech 3s.
Perhaps the one class of ships that tech IIIs would really occlude would be its faction counterparts. That certainly seems to have been the case for cruisers. The collection of pirate and navy faction cruisers have fallen by the way side since the introduction of Tech IIIs. When was the last time someone saw a Gilla or a Cynabal on their overview? For any reason? The only reference to them i’ve heard is of use by characters who for whatever reason lack the skills to use Tech IIIs but not the ISK.
I would be sad to be in a world where the Machariel is reduced to a museum piece. The ship looks far too cool for that.
On the reverse end, the same might be said for the advent of Tech 3 Frigates. Would they too leave the Dramiel and Daredevil in the dust? It’s an interesting question. However i do think that the Tech III mechanics and the potential for wormhole mechanics are too detailed simply to leave in this state as it stands. Yes you could argue that the WH corps make more than enough money as it is, but that’s no reason not to expand content in one particular region of space because no one’s complaining about it.
It would be an interesting problem to approach. Some of the roles that Tech III cruisers would of course not be possible on Tech III battleships and Frigates. Fleet boosters come to mind. Finding new roles for them to fill would be an interesting experience. And balancing the entire thing so that it doesn’t render faction ships obsolete would probably be the greatest difficulty.
As for the buff to wormhole space? So what? Wormholes, almost by their very nature prevent the resident corp from any serious cases of power projection Wormhole corps exist in the great uncertainty and risk of any of the four regions of space, and unlike the other three, isolated themselves almost entirely from the rest of space to do so. You can’t just jump clone around as you please or pop along to Jita from a wormhole. Rather than nullsec alliances, these are the people who we should be buffing.
So Tech 3 Frigates and Battleships? What’s your stance?