Thursday, December 15, 2011

From mehgle to EAGLE!

An entry for Kirith's "Redesigning the Eagle"

With the added bonus of suggested changes to the Moa!
How about the Eagle actually does something with those Claws?
Currently the Eagle gets the following bonuses:

Caldari Cruiser Skill Bonus: 10% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret optimal range per level and 5% bonus to shield resistances per level.

Heavy Assault Ship Skill Bonus: 10% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret optimal range and 5% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret damage per level
In sum that is a 50% bonus to optimal range from the cruiser skill alone, and another 50% bonus from HAC 5. If there is one thing that is true about bonuses we know that 100% bonus to anything is good right? Well not exactly; let's just say that the long range sniper position is already covered by more than one platform, ie Rohk, Apoc, and maybe arty Maelstrom. Realistically the real game changer are the new tier 3 BC's, who with BS weapons join their battleship brothers in being able to engage at long range with surprisingly good damage as outlined in Kirith's post.

So we need to fit the Eagle into a new niche, and I propose the mid-range, anti-tackle support DPS role similar in speed and ability, if with poorer tracking and slightly more range, to the Vagabond. (I know I know; "a Vagabond pilot proposing a new-Caldaribond" but stick with me.)

The first problem stems from the second bonus to optimal range, indicating that the Eagle should be sitting out with the snipers, but its weapons (who have been sold-out for damage to achieve the range needed) give you an anemic 213 DPS at 190km + 24km (locking out to 213km). Using the fit below, keep in mind this is not an optimal fit, just spitballing to outline my point. Fit has 12.3k EHP, enough to be sneezed at and killed. Do not attempt unless you are a professional.

[Eagle, rail range]

250mm Railgun II, Spike M
250mm Railgun II, Spike M
250mm Railgun II, Spike M
250mm Railgun II, Spike M
250mm Railgun II, Spike M
[Empty High slot]

Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon Microwarpdrive
Sensor Booster II, Targeting Range
Sensor Booster II, Targeting Range
Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range
Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range

Reactor Control Unit II
Tracking Enhancer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

Medium Hybrid Collision Accelerator I
[Empty Rig slot]

Such a sell-out fit to allow the eagle to even fly in a traditional snipe apoc/Rohk fleet, let alone the newer 100km ranged Tier 3 BC fleets. Even then your DPS is little more than that of a frigate, in the stop-it, that tickles range, and your volley is a whopping 746.... Not even cresting 1k, and hardly enough to, at max damage, peel through shields. Not to mention not even closely competitive with the Naga or the Rohk.

That's the first bonus we should get rid of, but not the whole thing, just the 10% bonus offered by the HAC skill. Instead, replace the bonus with a 7.5% rate of fire increase, negotiable down to 5% RoF increase. Here's the trick though, and this is something that will draw some heat, we need to force the Eagle to be a rail platform, I like the blaster Eagle but, the eagle needs to fill a specific role, not one of half blaster fits and half rail fits.
GEagle is not impressed, wants to be a BEagle.
Specialization means it would be more useful in its intended role, while less useful out of that role. For specialization's sake, the rate of fire bonus will only apply to Rails and not the more generic "Hybrid" bonus. We have to do this because Blasters and Rails share many attributes and can't be set apart like AC vs arty where a falloff bonus screams AC and an Optimal Bonus screams arty. We have to specifically designate Rails as THE weapon for the Eagle. Similar to, but more explicit than, the Vagabond and A/C or Torps on Stealth-bombers, HAM on Sacri's, Arty on Muninn...

From that one change, now rails get a specific bonus to their rate of fire and the bonus no longer implies long range use, like the current optimal bonus. Let's face the truth, the eagle has not fit in the long range role since the release of tier 3 BS, if not before.

It moves them to the currently under-populated mid-range DPS class of ships, akin to its spiritual brother the Arty Muninn, and to some extent the pulse-shield Zealot and 220mm Vagabond. An intended range of between 20-80 KM from target.

The second largest problem of the Eagle is the crap fitting given to the ship, even at max skills. The numbers I will talk about below are what I call "peak skill fitting." To me this means that you go into PyFA/EFT and select the all 5's template when you are looking skills, granting you the elusive "perfect" skill base to theory craft off of.
Eagle : "Does it look like I have trouble carrying stuff?"
Man : "No, no it does not."
I expect a HAC (a skill intensive ship to sit in, let alone fly properly) to at LEAST be able to fit a full rack of mid-tier guns for the class, a decent buffer tank, and damage or DPS modules in the lows. The Eagle can't even pull any of this off. Instead it gets a HUGE pool of CPU to draw from, even fitting with 250mm rails, and a bunch of other CPU hungry items you have a large amount left over.

Then to oppose that it has a tiny powergrid. Not enough by 15% to fit mid-tier guns (200mm rails) an MWD, a LSE, Invul, Photon, and point. Let alone high tier guns.

The eagle should get a 10% reduction in peak CPU, losing just shy of 55 tf CPU and gain 10% Powergrid, a little more than 110 grid at peak. I think the following should be a possible fit, if only barely with most level 5 fittings skills similar to the 220mm/medium Neut/3 gyro/2 TE Vagabond.

[Eagle, Caldaribond]

200mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
200mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
200mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
200mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
200mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Medium Unstable Power Fluctuator I

Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon Microwarpdrive
Large F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
Invulnerability Field II
Warp Disruptor II
Photon Scattering Field II

Damage Control II
Tracking Enhancer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

[Empty Rig slot]
[Empty Rig slot]

I realize the rigs aren't filled but they can be fit with whatever vOv

The next problem is the speed of the Eagle, the Cerb was always a Nano-able ship because its base speed was barely high enough to keep it out of most danger without having to go to far into stacking penalty of doom land to get you up to speed.

The base speed of the Eagle is a slow 164 m/s, in fact this is the slowest ship in the entire HAC class, Even the supposedly "slow" Amarr armor tanking HAC's have a faster base-speed than the Eagle. Here I thought Eagles were pretty fast animals, they should have name the ship class the Sloth instead. Not to mention agility values on the Eagle are very poor.
Something with my name is SLOW? unpossible.
Base speed of the Eagle should be increased from the current 164m/s(or 204m/s with max skills) to 194m/s, boosting max skill speed to around 242 m/s, giving it viable, but not overpowered speed in comparison to the other speed based HAC's. For reference the Vagabond's BASE speed is 239m/s, and that with the ships bonus and max skills equals out to 373m/s. The aim isn't turning the Eagle into a replacement Vagabond, but a ship in a similar class, yes. The Eagle would also need an agility buff to bring it more in line with other mid ranged skirmish ships, once again removing it from the current duldrom as the sloth of HAC's.

The final problem with the Eagle and one of the problems with the Moa - lack of drones. It joins the Zealot and the Cerb as the only three HAC's without drones. I would improve on nature here, and fix that, on the eagle along with a similar adjustment to the Moa. I would give the Moa a 15m3 drone bay and matching bandwidth(I'm so smart, as Sae points out below, the Moa already has a 15m3 drone bay, research fail, and CCP fail). The Eagle would get 15-25m3 of bay/bandwidth, enough to fit 3-5 light combat drones or dishonour drones, to fight off tackle.
"Man I wish I had something to get this tackle off of me!"
The Eagle already has most of the other requirements for its new role.
- 6 highs with a utility high and five guns. (check)
- Sufficient Shield HP and resists (check)
- Good capacitor (check)

The Moa should receive the changes to speed as well as the changes to agility, if you can't have the beagle, you can still have the boa!

How am I actually named something graceful?
Fugly ass ship design is fugly, calling it an Eagle is like calling Quasimodo a hottie.
I r pretty!
The problem with the Moa/Eagle ship is that they are trying to represent two very different animals with a single ship. Both are birds, but one is flightless and enormous, larger than an Ostrich,  the other may be one of the most (at least in America) revered flying birds of prey.

Because of this the current Moa ship model fails to make sense for either of its namesakes. The asymmetrical design, lacks any of the clean lines of birds of prey, let alone the intimidating look of Eagles, or the natural sleek grace of flightless birds like the Moa, hell, any kind of impressive look at all would work.

I am not an artist so my contribution for the redesign of the ship model ends here, with these images of the Birds that this ship hull is named after. (Onyx non-withstanding) Might inspire someone else to create a few new Moa/Eagle hulls.
Moa's, larger than a human. (All but the Lesser Moa was)
Haast Eagle and Moa, predator and prey.


  1. One small nitpick, the Moa actually does have a 15m3 drone bay and corresponding bandwidth. Just preserving or expanding that for the Eagle would do nicely.

  2. Man, are you serious? Yeah, cause it makes sense for the T2 HAC to have less capability than the t1 version. Thanks for the heads up, I will change that now.

  3. A few nitpicks (as I agree overall with most of the points here)

    -I think the reason the Eagle doesn't currently have drones is because it is supposed to be a sniper, and you can't control drones at 200km. Adding drones would only be feasible if all of the other changes were made and it becomes more of a midrange ship.
    -Maybe the second range bonus for the ship should be made a tracking speed bonus instead of the ROF you suggested. Rails, even after Crucible, still track pretty poorly, and shorter range and a faster base speed are gonna complicate that even more. I think a good combination would be to give that tracking bonus, and get more DPS by instead adding a 6th turret slot (a neut is useless at >15km, and your proposed design has an optimal at 20 or 25km I estimate? Sorta like a Vaga I guess..) So that's something to think about...

    And finally, some formatting nitpicks:
    -I think you mean 10% reduction in CPU, not powergrid.
    -its and it's (it is) are two different words. This bothers me, but probably not anyone else because nobody else feels like being a jerk.

    But anyways, good ideas here! Gave me a lot to think about.

  4. I thought about the 6th turret slot and dropping the neut slot, but then you would be very vulnerable to close tackle without any way of defending yourself. If you want the extra dps you could fit a missile launcher into that slot similar to the Vagabond, but the utility high is just too useful.(to me)

    You make a good point about tracking over RoF, one worth consideration. 200mm rails really have shit tracking. If the tracking was added the eagle would HAVE to add the 6th turret to make DPS competitive with any other ships in that class, but you would lose the utility high (sadpanda). Probably worth the trade, as long as it did not mean the 200's could hit high transversal targets with ease. This would further escalate the need of 5 light drones for point defense.

    Drone-wise, do other snipers like the Rohk not have drones? I get that was likely CCP's reasoning, but Drones are useful, and to have them on the t1 ship and not the t2 ship sucks(happens more than once).

    Edits : Changed PG reduction mistype to the intended CPU, and a lot of it's to its or removed them entirely, Thanks.

  5. Very nice blog about eagle redesign. Makes sense to me +1