CCP Ytterbium has been dead busy balancing the heck out of ships, here is the latest lowdown:

Dev Blog: Ship Balancing Winter Update

Things have been going well on the ship balancing front as we ramp up to our winter expansion in the coming months. We began earlier this year with rebalancing combat frigates for Inferno, and then delivered improved mining barges through CCP Tallest. We also gave you attack frigates and rookie ship changes despite summer vacations taking many staff away. That’s a total of 19 ships, which is not too shabby to start with, considering it’s a little less than 10% of all available EVE Online vessels. Adding CCP Fozzie to our team has been a great aid in getting things moving along, a bit like hiring an extra half-naked loud hairy vocalist to a heavy metal band. Plus, he doesn't eat much (a few peanuts we launch at him in the morning do the trick), and usually he sleeps in a dark corner somewhere and works 22 hours a day. Not a bad deal.

Despite being happy with our first round of balancing changes, work has barely started and we really want to ramp things up for the next expansion. So, let’s check what you are getting for winter.

David versus Goliath (16 ships)

Frigates have the highest balancing priority so far, and the experience gained with Inferno is definitely going to be put into good use here. Here is the updated list which has changed a little since Fanfest 2012.

Remaining combat frigates: Kestrel, Tristan and Breacher. Previously expected to become missile ships, we decided to keep their role in the same category as the Tormentor, Punisher, Merlin, Incursus and Rifter for consistency and simplicity purposes. The Kestrel will now have a new long range bonus. The Tristan is being overhauled into a true drone boat, while the Breacher becomes a resilient close range missile platform thanks to its shield boost amount per level. Would you like to know more?

Exploration / scanning frigates: Magnate, Heron, Imicus, Probe. All of these ships are now properly focused by having mini-profession bonuses, increased probe scan strength and far better slot layouts in general. Would you like to know more?

Disruption frigates: Crucifier, Griffin, Maulus, Vigil. The Crucifier is now fully dedicated to tracking disruption. The Griffin bonus remains unchanged, but has a better slot layout. The Maulus loses the hybrid damage bonus and specializes in sensor dampening with drone support, while the Vigil will no longer have a speed bonus and will focus on target painting. Would you like to know more?

Support frigates: Inquisitor, Bantam, Navitas, Burst. A mix of formerly known missile and mining frigates that have been revamped to have logistics capabilities mounted on small, mobile hulls. Combined with a small remote armor repairer and shield transfer overhaul, it means new pilots or people interested in logistics support will now have a proper upgrade path all the way to the famously known Tech 2 logistic cruisers. Such a change will also dramatically shake up combat due to introducing repairing capabilities on small scale frigate fleets. Would you like to know more?

ORE frigate: Unable to mount Strip Miners, it will neither have the yield, ore hold or resilience of the Mining Barges. Instead, it will focus on mobility for ore retrieval in hostile space (read ninja mining), as well as acting as a stepping stone for new pilots. Keep an eye on “Features & Ideas” forums for more information on this hull. Please refer to one of our previous blogs to see concept art of it

Lethal thrashing (8 ships)

As hinted at in a previous blog, destroyers are also receiving some well-deserved love.

Existing destroyers: Coercer, Cormorant, Catalyst, Thrasher. Formerly known as Tier 1 destroyers, they are mainly in good shape since their first buff in Crucible. There are still a few points that need to be looked at before we can move on. Would you like to know more?

New destroyers: while the exact attributes are not ready for review so far we can explain their roles a bit more than in the previous blog. Main roles will focus on medium range damage projection through drones and missiles. Amarr and Gallente will most likely have fully bonused flights of light drones to play with while being supported by several turret slots. Caldari and Minmatar will boast high-slots fully loaded with missile launchers. Slot layout is expected to be 13 in total with overall speed reduced and signature radius increased compared to existing existing destroyer hulls. In all cases please remember this still is work in progress; a new “Features & Ideas” forum thread will be opened when more details are ready for public review.


Cruising full speed (16 ships)

Due to the ship balancing team's excellent work during the summer we are able to move ahead of schedule and revamp all Tech 1 cruisers for winter. Tech 1 cruisers have fallen out of favor over time as new ship classes, like the new battlecruisers, have come along and made their role less useful in many cases. As a general rule of thumb we would like to change layout to 13-14 slots on all cruisers, slightly increase EHP and significantly improve mobility to make them viable against battlecruisers. Exact attributes are to be unveiled at a later date.

Support cruisers: Augoror, Osprey, Exequror, Scythe. These almost extinct hulls will see a new purpose for being properly refurbished as Tech 1 logistic ships. With removing their current mining role, our goal is to make them useful enough to be actively picked in fleets when Tech 2 logistics are not available instead of having the FC sending you back to your momma. CCP Fozzie will post new details soon (if he hasn’t already, for he is a rabid animal), so keep an eye on the “Features & Ideas” forum section.

Disruption cruisers: Arbitrator, Blackbird, Celestis, Bellicose. Our plan is to turn the Arbitrator and Bellicose into combat / EW hybrids (a bit like combat recons if you will), while the Blackbird and Celestis are more suited for fleet duty. The Arbitrator is quite good, but will receive a boost to be kept on par with the other revamped cruisers so it doesn’t become sad. The Blackbird is quite good so no major changes will happen here. The Celestis could use some real love due to the poor state of dampeners so expect the hybrid damage bonus to go away and we will expand on this in more detail in the future. The Bellicose will combine target painting with missiles on a mean, fast hull that will resemble the Caracal as an anti-frigate platform.

Attack cruisers: Omen, Caracal, Thorax, Stabber. We want to clearly revamp these four ships to be dedicated to speed and damage. The Omen must be one of the most frustrating ships to fit so we are going to look at it. Like CCP Guard, it should be a mean miniaturized version of the Armageddon, not a public target for bad-taste midget tossing jokes. The Caracal is also good, but again, could use a tweak in regards to fitting and mobility to make better use of its damage projection. The Thorax will be revamped to fit the attack class role which means making sure its mobile enough to punch your face at close range without wasting a ship bonus dedicated to Microwarpdrive capacitor usage. The Stabber will most likely have its speed bonus integrated into the hull to make room for something more dedicated to Minmatar combat doctrine – some of you will ponder, surely that must be a salvaging bonus?

Combat cruisers: Maller, Moa, Vexor, Rupture. Poor, sad Maller, your whole existence is a tragedy. Please let us put an end to this travesty by properly turning you into a mini-Abaddon, with an armor resistance and laser damage bonus to actually serve as something else than bait. The beautifully sleek shaped Moa has two options, just like the Merlin before it: either close range role with a shield resistance and hybrid turret damage combination, or sniping duty with hybrid turret damage and range synergy. Play testing and feedback will tell which one is picked. The Vexor is a good ship, and will receive some resilience boosts to fit into the new combat role. The Rupture, while staying a solid and versatile choice, could use more resilience and speed as well.


In the end

So all things being equal, we will be giving you 40 revamped hulls to play with this winter which is around 20% of all EVE Online ships. Not only does this allow new players to be more competitive from the start, it also ties well with Factional Warfare revamps and gives everyone more excuses to shoot others in the face while singing Christmas carols. It also gets us so much closer of the next long awaited ship class that needs to be purified with fire: battlecruisers. Prophecy, Ferox, Brutix, Cyclone, we know how you feel. Drake and Hurricane, we are coming for you too.

As a reminder, we would like to state there are no skill changes planned for the winter expansion – your Destroyers and Battlecruisers skills are safe for now, as we are not adjusting spaceship command skill trees until we are done with the Battlecruiser class.

Tired of reading, want to participate in balancing discussion? Then don’t hesitate to hop in the forum threads mentioned above and give constructive feedback. CCP Fozzie and I are on call. Want to actually test the ships and shoot some Devs in the process? Then come to Duality on the 19th-21st of September, where our first round of play testing will take place: all frigates and existing destroyers will be available for players to use – except the ORE frig, new destroyers and cruisers, which will be looked at later. As mentioned above, many Devs will also hop in to give you a chance to get sweet, sweet revenge for altering your preferred hull. Gotta catch em all! Please see this wiki article on how to connect to Duality.

Before we forget, since we also love shiny pictures, here is a small summary on how the revamped ship role layout looks like.

Hang on, what’s that on the background? Looks familiar, let’s have a better look at it shall we?

As the icing on the cake from our Art department (many thanks to all the people involved, including the amazing CCP Phor), we would like to let you know that the many cries of despair from Stabber / Vagabond pilots have been heard, and you will also get revamped models as part of the winter deal.




  1. Drake and Hurricane, we are coming for you too.


    September 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm Reply
    1. ROL Grunt

      No, worrying.

      Hurricane is just perfect as it is. Multi-role battlecruiser, that can be fitted as armor or shield tank, as autocannon close range monster-dps or long range insta-lock alpha artillery. It´s one of the mos beautiful and deadly ships of the game.

      And the drake is….well, the drake ! What would you change on it !!!! Harbinger need much more attention from CCP, and maybe Brutix too, then those too !

      Oh man, here comes the storm…

      But good to see that my vaga will have his fin back soon ™.

      Good hunt.

      ROL Grunt

      September 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm Reply
      1. Ashesofempires

        Drake will probably get the shield bonus stripped away and shield HP reduced, in exchange for a dps bonus, but probably not one that will greatly affect overall dps (flight time or velocity).

        September 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm Reply
        1. The14th

          I should hope they get a dps boost, as by just removing the super tank and keeping damage the same it will quickly go from the most used ship in the game to one of the least. Now don't mis-understand me, I want that tank nerf as much as the next guy, but the drake should not be made useless.

          September 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm Reply
        2. BBTop

          TBH a Resistance bonus donesnt go in line with the rest of the Caldari missle ships. Reference the Caracal, the kestral, and the raven.
          I would say increase the HP, remove the resistance bonus, and give it a ROF bonus, or a CPU cost reduction of missle launcher bonus, allowing it to increase its dps or tank.

          September 11, 2012 at 11:48 pm Reply
          1. Ashesofempires

            Going by the new Kestrel, it will get a 5% bonus to all damage types, and a velocity bonus. The Caracal will probably get the same treatment, but it already has the velocity bonus. The Raven may have its ROF bonus changed to a damage bonus as well, retaining the velocity bonus.

            I did some quick napkin math, using full level 5 skills, and a GSF drake fit, and the drake went from 89.9k EHP to 77k.

            September 12, 2012 at 12:43 am
    2. dotbro

      I was happy with this. The drake and cane have been what they are for my entire career in Eve, I wouldn't mind seeing the drake nerfed a bit just so people stop using them as the workhorses of null. Canes seem fine though, great ship if you know how to use it, very flexible in fittings, but not heavily overpowered.

      Also, I want that vaga hull NOW.

      September 11, 2012 at 1:30 pm Reply
      1. Ravaeli

        The kinetic damage type of Caldari needs to be removed to a straight damage bonus. The fact that missiles never miss inside of range and you can choose any damage types was the balancing factor of doing lower amounts of damage. As long as the new drake has the same ehp as the other battlecruisers lets hope they remove the damage restriction from Caldari one day.

        September 11, 2012 at 5:07 pm Reply
  2. Horak_Thor

    "Would you like to know more?"

    Anyone else thinking star ship troopers?

    September 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm Reply
    1. CFC With Intellect

      That was, in fact, the joke.


      September 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm Reply
  3. TRIBAL BAND fo life

    YESH Make the drake a pwnboat with an 8/8/8 layout and 300 % damage bonus to all missiles !
    On a more serious note, it's about time drake got a revamp 😀

    September 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm Reply
    1. BntyHunter

      The Drake on its own is fine and really T2 BC`s are all solid ships, but its just the quality of pilots who make them look bad and they have been known to be PVE boats so these low level blobbers use them because they are cheap and 85% a BS.

      In reality a 1v1 a Myrm will dominate the Drake flown right,

      If they ever fix cruise missiles, I actually think the game will get fun, A cruise is slow enough to truly firewall reliably and Torpswould be amazing to actually slug with, IMO orps whould have the most raw DPS in Game to make up fr terrible tacking and flight time, but hell even a 1400 howi can hit a cruiser with a painter on him, a Torp never will.

      But if they made them AOE weapons again like the olden days Torp would be worth it, firing into blobs hitting 4-5 ships, it whould be similiar to bombs….Sounds like a blast. AOE but DMG would be dispersed so a Trp could do 1k DMG but instead of hitting all 4 ships for 1k it would be like 250 DMG+25% etc

      September 12, 2012 at 1:07 am Reply
      1. taffelmester

        You are wrong. There's a reason the Drake has at least twice the number of kills as the second place on eve-kill top 20 list every month. It's very much so overpowered. Why is it we're having this discussion every year day out and day in? It's because it's OP. Even "elite PvP" alliances like NCdot use Drakes occasionally with good effect. The buffer is huge, the range is ridicilously good and it's extremely cheap. When you're fighting Drakes you always primary the other BC's first because they only have half the tank of the Drake.

        September 12, 2012 at 1:53 am Reply
        1. minimee

          First i want to note that you can't compare fleet roles with solo pvp or pve roles some ships are great for fleets some for solo pvp and some for pve.

          Take the Cyclone (Mimatar) great ship for PvE due to the bonus to shield booster

          Only drakes you say? I recall CFC was using Mass Arty Canes a 18month ago? give and take a few month. and because 50% of eves players fly in alliances that form DRAKE only fleet the numbers will be screwed.

          The reason why Shield tanking is better then Armor tanking for Fleets is 1# Speed 2# better gank on lowslots

          Thats why Hurricane & Drakes are the two ships mostly used in fleet combat

          I think they should do something about all the Battle Cruiser but that will come in the Summer expansion.

          September 12, 2012 at 8:52 am Reply
    2. Jesus

      Tribal Band eh? Well that's ok I expect to hear stupid shit like this from you anyways.

      September 12, 2012 at 5:45 pm Reply
  4. taffelmester

    For the love of God please, please, please, please fix the Drake. The reason it's got 3x as many kills every month on the top 20 kills by shiptype on eve-kill, is because it's extremely overpowered. It's got a better tank than many BS which is just retarded. It can shoot to <80km and the dps is decent, although not spectacular. God I hate that ship.

    September 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm Reply
    1. rr77

      the reason its on the top of the kills chart is: every large ally uses it for their fleets.

      September 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm Reply
  5. Bob

    Any word on how these changes will effect the navy cruisers? Would be nice to see the nomen come back

    September 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm Reply
  6. DarthNefarius

    Dunno if CCP can do anything with the Coercer to make it usefull at all due to small/medlasers being a bit underpowered unless it has a T3 or HAC like ROF bonus. Thing is worthless to gank in unlike the thrasher or catalyst… the Omen is in the same boat. Omen reminds me of the prophecy… useless for much anything except a hull for HAC/CS

    September 11, 2012 at 6:18 pm Reply
    1. dumbasrocks

      You obviously donno shit about the coercer. Its only weakness is lack of midslot.

      September 11, 2012 at 7:18 pm Reply
    2. doom

      u obviously haven't flown the coercer of doom, the ship is fun as hell if u know how to fly it snipe frigs easy and even take thrashers on

      September 11, 2012 at 8:10 pm Reply
    3. BBTop

      You have never flown a blaster prophecy….. AMAZING SHIP!

      people dont expect it.

      September 11, 2012 at 11:52 pm Reply
  7. The Observer

    AWWW YEAH my vagabond is getting it's ears back!

    September 11, 2012 at 6:44 pm Reply
    1. Scar

      I know right ? !!!!!!!!!!! YAY . . . I just can't seem to fly a Vaga without the frilly ears. :3

      September 12, 2012 at 1:48 am Reply
  8. droljica

    A hellofajob ccp did with …kestrel

    September 11, 2012 at 9:07 pm Reply
  9. Marcus_McTavish


    I think this Dev Blog was in retaliation to Ripard's post about how slow they were going…
    CCP just trolled him hard.

    September 11, 2012 at 9:19 pm Reply
  10. asdf

    Still ripard teg crying that winter expansion is going to be thin at spaceship side?

    Winter roams will be fun!

    September 11, 2012 at 11:35 pm Reply
  11. BntyHunter

    Still no Caldari ship thats like a Mini Drake….Also I love the Drake and was using i way before the Hoardes were and people thought CCCx3 was a Drake….We Ham Drake Pilots lured soooo many in to murder.

    What im pissed about is Missiles are supposed to be the primary for Cald, with Hybrids as second because hybrids are truly owned by Gal.

    So instead of giving us our 5% resist bonus ships always in Hybrid format they need to pull a Drake and finally give us Missiles and the resist bonus.

    Look at how bad the Rokh was until now, imagine if it had equal 25% bonus with missiles and Cruises were actually fixxed.

    And the Kestrel to me should be the close range missile brawler, Sorry but the MOA is just a Rax minus the drones it really should be a missile boat with its bonus being with HAMS not HML`s.
    The problem is they arent specific enough in bonuses sometimes, if you want a long range hybrid ship give it 10% bonus to rail range and 5% range to blasters etc.

    IMO the raven is the perfect example of how without 25% bonus to tank missile ships have to overcome to much in flight time and tracking [esp Torps] to be useful, a Rail gun at 100 KM can track a fast frig, but missiles can never track them and th lag between targets in fleet fights is by far to long.

    I think the snipers like the Rokh should be just like the Apoc T2 while our primary ship should mirror the Abby but with missiles instead, and dress all ships down from there, let it be known T3 BS is Brawler, T2 BS is Sniper, T1 BS is Multi-Role non better by a tont just purposed that way.

    So Merlin IMO should be a brawling Rocket boat, Moa should be brawling HAM boat similiar to Hawk and Kestrel should be super fast Sniper/Blaster boat like the Harpy, and Caracal should be a fast moving Hybrid boat.

    Think about it in space missile ships would be the sluggers. And really the reason the Drake was and is used so much is because was ratters choice so you could have a militia of sorts. B. We had no great BS, hybrids sucked and now they made our sniper ship no our brawler the one with EHP bonus.

    Its simple ABby/Rohk/Mael/Hyp all primarily close range brawlers. T2 all snipers and T1 multipurpose like the Phoon or Geddon.

    I would think CCP would understand the main popular ships for Cald all have missiles and tanks, its simple, they need to do the same with al classes.

    September 12, 2012 at 12:58 am Reply
  12. buggrit

    Let the cane be!! One of the best ships to fly, one of the first to be primaried.

    September 12, 2012 at 1:10 am Reply
  13. Thunderdome

    Looks good CCP!

    Only thing is destroyers are no way overpowered in comparison to frigates. While this may be intentional, the relative costs of say a destroyer compared to a t2 frig (which might actually be able to live 1v1 against a destroyer; a t1 frig will almost certainly die) is something to look into.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:33 am Reply
  14. bupi

    YESSSSS finally the stabber wouldnt look like a p***s with lepra 😀

    September 12, 2012 at 7:16 am Reply
  15. jack

    lol.. they are very productive on iceland..

    Next winter expansion, we present to you 40 re balanced ships..And next summer we will give you re balanced battlecruisers.. YAAARRRR we are awome at CCP.


    September 13, 2012 at 11:08 am Reply
  16. Mattias

    New Stabber model makes Matty a happy hunter.

    September 23, 2012 at 11:48 am Reply

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