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Wednesday, December 9, 2009


In my last post I took a look at ammunition and a little bit of the normalization of the autocannons. This time it's time to look at the big boom: artillery turrets.

The big difference is that the high tier guns of any particular size now have some massive increase in Alpha. Especially the large artillery.

250mm Light Artillery Cannon I
Rate of Fire: 8.500s
Damage Modifier: 4.62
Optimal: 8.05km

280mm Howitzer Artillery I
Rate of Fire: 10.710s
Damage Modifier: 6.403
Optimal: 10km

The way to compare these is to get the DPS modifier (Damage Modifier divided by rate of fire)
  • 250mm: 0.544
  • 280mm: 0.598
So the raw dps is a little tweeked for the larger gun. Not to mention a 38.6% greater alpha. Note that these guns saw the smallest relative changes.

Onto the medium guns:

650mm Artillery Cannon I
Rate of Fire: 12.65s
Damage Modifier: 4.62
Optimal: 16.10km

720mm Howitzer Artillery I
Rate of Fire: 20.003s
Damage Modifier: 7.973
Optimal: 20km

Once again calculating the DPS modifiers:
  • 650mm: 0.365
  • 720mm: 0.399
So once again there will be a DPS advantage to the larger gun. The alpha of the bigger gun is 72.6% more though.

Now for the big boys:

1200mm Artillery Cannon I
Rate of Fire: 21.038s
Damage Modifier: 5.082
Optimal: 32.20km

1400mm Howitzer Artillery I
Rate of Fire: 40.163s
Damage Modifier: 10.672
Optimal: 40km

And again with the factors and the relative alpha:
  • 1200mm: 0.242
  • 1400mm: 0.266
The alpha difference however is a massive 110% more alpha for the larger gun.

Now let's take a look at some gunboats and their bonuses. I'll concentrate on cruisers and battleships for now. I'll only list bonuses that affect guns as well.

No gun bonus

Minmatar Cruiser Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret Rate of Fire

Minmatar Cruiser Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret firing speed

Minmatar Cruiser Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret firing speed per level.
Minmatar Cruiser Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret damage per level.

What can we conclude? The signature turret bonus is rate of fire bonuses for Minmatar ships. This is a better raw DPS bonus than a raw damage bonus but does not help alpha. The conclusion is that if you want to build an alpha ship out of the minmatar cruisers the only real option is the Rupture. The rest are realistically special use ships. Namely skirmishing in falloff with the Stabber Painting with the Bellicose and and aiding tracking with the Scythe.

Now the battleships:

Minmatar Battleship Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Large Projectile Turret Rate of Fire per level

Minmatar Battleship Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Large Projectile Turret Rate of Fire per level
Minmatar Battleship Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Large Projectile Turret damage per level

Minmatar Battleship Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Large Projectile Turret Rate of Fire per level

The analysis here shows that the tempest is the ship that initially looks like the clear winner in the alpha race. It's problem is that at level 5 it's a 25% bonus but the Maelstrom has 33% more guns. On the flip side the Tempest does get to keep 2 utility highs for remote reps and large newts (anti tackle). In the end, due to the default targeting range and the fact that it can use more turrets, (not to mention it has the power grid to fit a full rack of 1400mm with pg to spare) the Maelstrom is the clear winner in the alpha sniper sweepstakes. The larger quanties of lows and higher maneuverability of the Tempest make it a better skirmisher however. The typhoon although a good ship is just not suited for high alpha long range skirmish work.

These changes will not have great impact on the PVE side of the equation. However on the PvP side these changes can have potentially enormous impact. These changes really herald the re-birth of the matari skirmish squadron. The only problem such a squadron has is that all the pilots have to be coordinated and know how a skirmish squadron is supposed to fly. There is also the issue of integration into a larger fleet. Most FCs will not know how to assign duties to an attached skirmish squadron. The thing is that a properly fit and coordinated skirmish squadron has rather specialized uses. Ideally it should consist of enough high alpha units to one-shot a plated BS. Tactically it should be used in conjunction with interceptors and scouts to warp into battle - kill a key target then warp out.

One of the key things to observe is that thanks to the fact that it's now critical to get a first full damage hit, the Bellicose and the Scythe now have more of a role than they previously did. The Bellicose makes sure the targets are nice and large, the Scythe makes sure that any battleships it's assigned to support have extra tracking so that enemy movement has less of a detrimental impact on the damage coming from the guns (less misses). The rest of the armament on these two types of ships should be anti-tackle. A squadron of 6 Tempests backed by a Bellicose, a Scythe and two scouts can potentially wreck havoc on enemy sniper squadrons and support vessels. Not to mention occupy the attention of enemy FC's and distracting them (ideally at a critical moment).

I suspect that the FCs who show some originality in using squadrons like this will be albe to gain some tactical advantage from them. They are great for taking on remote rep fleets since they don't care if you have reps or not (the whole point of massive alpha is to kill the ship in one shot preferably. No chance to rep in those cases. This is actually a great opportunity to develop new FCs since the semi-independent nature that using a skirmishing fleet like this entails means that it needs a Squadron Commander to lead it independent of the the main fleet FC.

The real challenge sill be making sure that the squadron is trained up in the correct tactics and that the support/anti tackle ships are trained in their roles.


Angus said...

Nice thought provoking post. I have become annoyed with how a lot of fleet fights are one group vs one group. I am curious how the destroyers (thrasher wolf packs) and the battle cruisers change with this update to the guns.

Chi Nwi said...

I am seeing a nice DPS using the tracking bonus on long distance ammo and some mods, but I am not sure the true benefits of this on Mael.
I have a setup with 8 1400's and switching ammo, and i get some awesome alpha strikes. THe challenge is a 21 second fire rate with BS 5 on a Mael.

Rayne Stryker said...

Another nice post. A Masters course on Projectile Weapons and hulls. Thanks, professor. :)

Unknown said...

I disagree with your point that the Maelstrom is the better sniper. IMO the Tempest comes out on top. It is cheaper to field as it is a tier 2 and uses 6 guns to produce practically the same resulting alpha/dps.
By only using 6 guns, it also means it has 2 utility highslots that can be used for other things, such as a heavy neut to fry tackler's cap, fitting remote reps or other things.
Finally imo the slot layout of the tempest is pretty spot on, 5 mids and 6 lows is pretty usefull. Enough room for a MWD, 2 sensor boosters, 2 LSE for some buffer, 3 gyro, 2 TE and a RCU II. Add a targeting range rig and it has plenty targeting range(233km) for most fleets.
... now if Mael had a damage bonus instead of that rate of fire bonus, then I might consider it the king of sniping(holy alpha, batman!... 22s... holy alpha, ...)

Letrange said...


That's specifically why I say that the Tempest makes a better skirmisher. The Mael does get more alpha though even if it's not as efficient as the Tempest.

Carole Pivarnik said...

Excellent post and printed out for future reference. Thanks again!

Sp4m said...

and now a look at how shit blasters are in comparison to imba tracking/range lasers
imba falloff/tracking projectiles
and missles.... oh wait missles still suck.

well aint it fun to be gallente right now.

Unknown said...

Ok, now that I learned how to fly the Mael with all gun and with the new changes and understood the changes better, the Mael with all guns and the right tank handles all L4 missions with no issues and one shot Alpha most targets under BS. Wrong ammo and your there a while.

This damn thing is a danger to others with T2 guns on it. Put T2 ammo on there, 20 second cycle time, 8 guns, 4 pairs of two, set them for a 5 seconds spread... no alpha, it does override every NPC BS's active tank so far,FAST.

Alpha strike, I have hit structures with T1 guns and ammo in the 1X K range.

I like it.

The Phoon changes, ROCK.

Serpentine Logic said...

It's interesting how these things turn out. At present, half of nullsec rolls with alpha-mael fleets. After all, if server lag only allows you to shoot once per minute, why not alpha them?