Friday, June 29, 2012

Transport Ship Bonuses

As my security status drops, I have had to consider how I'm moving my gear out so I can continue to pew. This led me to look into the Transport Ships category. Particularly, I'm looking at the cloaky transports that can fit Covert Ops Cloaks. Let's be honest, these ships are pretty great for logistics runs. They're relatively fast, align well, and they have a decent cargohold. The cloaky transports are fantastic, and you have no excuse for dying in them in lowsec. Even in null, your odds are still pretty darn good.

Here's my problem though. Every single ship in the "Transport" class has that stupid bonus to either armor or shield repair bonus. Let's break it down with a Viator. The fitting layout is one high, three mids, three lows, and two rigs. Now let's consider what modules and rigs are essential: Covert ops cloak and microwarp drive. After that, its at least agility modules and rigs and maybe cargo mods if you're greedy or you really need it. What does that leave the ship with? Not a lot, to be honest. At all V skills, it has plenty of CPU left, but only 2 MW of power grid. Not a lot of room on there for an armor repairer, huh?

Looking through all of the cloaky transports, the song remains the same. The decreasing order of cargo size runs Viator, Prorator, Crane, and Prowler. The order for align time is just the opposite. All four of them have distinct issues with tanking though, especially the active variety. Fitting for the required Cloak/MWD plus tank leaves room only for small armor repairers and either small or maybe medium shield boosters. I can't find any fit that tanks more than about 100 DPS. Holy useless bonus, Batman.

The thing is, these ships shouldn't be super tanky. If there should be such an industrial, its the other half of the transport ships. The covert transports have safety in their cloaks. Given this, there is no reason to have an active tank bonus for these ships. In fact, there's almost no reason to train Transport Ships past level one unless you need the CPU for the Covert Ops Cloak for some reason.

There are a few ways the Transport bonus could be fixed for these ships. First, take out the armor or shield repair bonus. Its useless, no one uses it, and even a frigate will roast your Transport if it gets caught. Replace this bonus with a new one, that could go a few different ways. The most logical would be either a bonus to cargo or navigational skills. The cargo bonus would be much appreciated since they run a bit light on space as it is. The navigation bonus could be better agility, better speed, longer duration of afterburners and MWD's, or even something else. All of these would be useful, but none are present right now. You could even just add a passive resist or HP buff, and it would still be more useful than the active tank bonus right now. Something needs to change.

Transport Ships don't need a change like some other ship classes do, but right now they have a 100% useless bonus. Given that CCP is undergoing such an effort to tweak ship balances, it makes sense that they give this class a quick once-over. I'm looking forward to being able to say "I told you so," if and when they get around to looking at these ;)

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