[No-Local News] Strategic Cruisers | Part 1

Since Twostep recommended I use my blog, I’ll be mirroring my articles from No-Local here aswell. I will also use this blog to discuss my thoughts and carry on discussion as needed, in place of publishing on No-Local when I see it more reasonable to post here. Otherwise, Enjoy! #Proc4CSM

With the continuation of our adventure through the ongoing wormhole discussions, it’s time to engage the issue/changes that nearly everyone will have opinions and concerns, due to the overwhelming effect on wormhole residents across every class of wormhole, Strategic Cruisers. As developers make their way through the rebalancing of the various classes, metas, and tiers, the wormhole communities anxiously await for word about changes to the precious Strategic Cruisers and the effect on economic, strategic, and overall viability of wormhole space’s future.

For those unaware, Strategic Cruisers (T3′s) are the product of wormhole space, and as such are directly connected to the economic growth or deterioration of that area of gameplay. As changes are made to T3′s, the supply and demand could be effected which would greatly impact the current wormhole residents and the future of potential residents. So, it is quite important that any discussion on the topic of T3′s be thorough and that the changes be made in a way that does not harm the wormhole game.

What is a T3? A Strategic Cruiser is a modular ship that is assembled though various combinations of subsystems. Subsystems provide a variety of slot/fitting options, variable stats, and assorted bonuses to create a unique ship depending on the modular design. That being said, the current list of subsystems and the current settings for these subsystems greatly reduce options by not providing the versatility that many feel should exist with T3′s. This comes to the first “fix”:

1) Edit subsystems, increasing the possibility for versatile use.

Currently, the subsystems are set up to have four options for each of five particular subsystems: Defensive, Electronic, Offensive, Propulsion, and Engineering; per race. Unfortunately, some of these subsystems aren’t attractive or useful to players, leading them to collect dust and remain unused. My vision for T3′s, as a wormholer, was always looking at them like a backpacker, which means that you could bring in only a couple of hulls with an assortment of subsystems, rigs, modules, and ammunition, and be able to refit your T3′s as needed for the different situations that arise. If you need a Logisitics Cruiser, Recon Ship, Heavy Interdictor, Heavy Assault, all you’d need to do is change out the subsystems and you have yourself the ship for the occasion.

This means a couple of things: Subsystems would need the overhaul to allow for the creation of perhaps a bit better tanked, but maybe not as strongly bonused version of the various T2 ships in existence, rigging for T3′s would need to be addressed, and ensure that the changed subsystems don’t dwarf existing ships and that there isn’t room for exploitation or broken compositions.

2) More options, but T2 bonuses should be better.

I am of the opinion that Strategic Cruisers are great because of their perceived versatility. With the changes to subsystems, I would be able to take a single hull, and turn it into whatever ship I need when I need it. That should be what makes them preferred, as I see T3′s. If subsystems changed to allow for a Logistics/HIC, and looking at the HAC/Recon/Link types already in existence, should they be stronger than T2 ships specifically designed for a particular role? I don’t think they should.

For example, a T3 Heavy Interdictor should be able to focus point and have a bubble, however the bubble would perhaps not be able to achieve the largest size that a T2 Heavy Interdictor could achieve; or a T3 Logistics would not be able to achieve the same range or perhaps the repair/transfer/boost amount of the T2 variant. These are simply ideas, but versatility should be the strength, not making every form of T3 better than a T2. Another bonus would be that the tank for the T3 could be better than the T2, however as I said during my interviews, I due think that the overall tank of T3′s are on the high side and could be addressed, perhaps even lowered somewhat.

3) Rigging of Strategic Cruisers would have to be unique.

Since these ships are versatile, changing the subs would mean that changing the Rigs would be very important. If you change your subs from an Armor HAC to a Shield Logi, the Rigs will most definitely be different for those roles. So a couple of options have been suggested: Allow for Rigs on T3′s to be interchangeable; Allow for a “Rig Inventory” within the T3, which allows the player to select the Rig needed for each design (This would mean that the Rig is still only able to be used for one T3, however you could store as many Rigs as needed in that Ships Rig Inventory to select which three you need for a particular use); Remove Rigs all together and buff the difference in the subsystems. These are all ideas, but the short answer is that Rigging would need to be addressed with the changes of T3 toward more versatile use.

4) Skill loss… Should it go?

With changes to versatility, tank, role, and such, should the subsystem skill loss continue? I view the skill loss as a mechanic installed to attempt to regulate and balance T3′s, and as such don’t think that the skill loss should remain. I believe that balancing should be focused on the hulls, subsystems, environments, and integration. This is more of a personal opinion about skill loss, so more opinion and discussion would provide interesting perspective.

So, what do you think about Strategic Cruisers? Please share your thoughts, opinions, and ideas here! Get involved in the discussion.

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