Saturday, October 23, 2010

Drakes - Suddenly overpowered?

Anyone reading the Eve forums has probably seen mention that CCP is going to be looking at the drake and seeing if it needs to be balanced.  We've always known that it was a spectacular mission ship, but only recently has it been used in large number in PVP.  CCP seems to be seeing that as signs that it should be nerfed a bit.

However, I completely disagree with their reasoning.  Drakes are seeing a lot of use because they function well against AHAC gangs.  The sudden proliferation of Zealots didn't seem to make CCP post about Zealots should be nerfed.  Drakes just happen to have some characteristics that work well in high-lag situations, such as weird capacitor issues, missiles hitting in huge bursts, and a decent buffer for logis to rep up.

Not too long ago, sniper BS gangs were what everyone was using, and I didn't see anyone complaining that the commonly used sniper BS were overpowered.  A few mechanics changed, along with some lag situations, and sniper BS just weren't a good choice anymore.  If lag clears up at all, or something else changes, drakes will once again be relegated to a decent PVE ship without CCP intervention.

Nerfing the FOTM this quickly is rather new for CCP, and seems to be strangely applied in the Drake's case. When was the last time you saw a CCP employee posting about nerfing the dramiel, and thats been FOTM and definitively overpowered for its ship class for quite some time.

But don't fear, once CCP nerfs the drake Caldari pilots will still have their great lineup of large-medium fleet ships, such as the .............


  1. No, CCP are not seeing this as signs that the Drake should be immediately nerfed:
    Drakes on their own are reasonably balanced [...] Food for thought anyway, we rarely intervene with emergent strategies and tactics as a counter usually matures after some time but will keep an eye on this thread to see what the rest of you think.

    Yes, this is CCP doing something different, but not what you think:
    Some really good opinions here. Remember this is atypical of our usual communication which comes following on from some action or pending change. Here we are experimenting in communication and catalyzing an open debate on a question posed regarding drake popularity and whether it is due to it being imbalanced and gathering opinion on that.

  2. I am betting CCP's recent posts on missile-driven lag might figure in as well - massive loads of Caldari missiles (and Gallente drones, for that matter) have to be under the microscope a bit there right now.

  3. And yet:
    As stated in earlier responses which I see some of you skipped(!), we would never nerf the drake because it used missiles and missiles cause additional load, that would be nonsensical indeed as many note.

  4. Perfect opportunity to make missiles instant-damage like lasers etc. I don't care how they do it, but manufacture an rp reason (new Sansha tech!) or whatever and remove one of the crippling factors of Caldari combat.

  5. What I believe I know from having read the threads - the Drake is not the problem, it's a symptom of increased (apparently massively increased) HAC gangs.
    They are also not the direct problem, but rather a response to Supercarriers' increased presence, and increased power in low/null-sec combat.
    So they shouldn't nerf the Drake or the HAC, but look to the SC and see if it is really as dominating as it's made out to be.


  6. Drakes have always been overpowered. They have too much EHP, do too much damage and aren't affected by falloff or tracking.

  7. Drakes do too much damage? Um..not sure that's the issue since I'm always laughed at when I fly my Drake. Respectable damage maybe, but what's wrong with having a good tank when it's the only viable mid-size hull for the Caldari? HACs have certainly become more prevalent, I watched 70 Zealots take out 15 carriers and 35 battleships in a single battle. Overpowered? No, just smart tactics. So how is using the strengths of the Drake worthy of nerfing?

  8. Everyone seems to be consistently missing the point: Battlecruisers were engineered as a ship that could approximate BS tank, or BS firepower. The first thing I thought when I saw the Drake was how it didn't seem to conform to this paradigm. HACs do not do this, they have their own design philosophy that is quite seperate from discussions of BCs. Same with BS, and every other ship class. No, the Drake doesn't have massive DPS in an *ideal* situation like its competitors, but its has a decent amount, front-loads it into alpha, has no tracking issues and excellent range, not really caring about such things as *ideal* situations. Drake *actual* capacity for damage can be favourably compared with BS and HACs, rather than the *theoretical* capacity given by EFT and the like. This is not in itself an issue, but it is when you consider that it also has that meaty tank that it's class is not designed to combine with it.

    Also, and as someone with some practical game design experience, when one thing in a game becomes so terribly ubiquitous like has happened with the Drake (but has not quite happened with the Zealot), that usually is a good indication that it's time to examine that thing more closely to see if it's doing the job it was intended for.

  9. "Battlecruisers were engineered as a ship that could approximate BS tank, or BS firepower. "

    To clarify, I mean that they can do one or other, but not both.

  10. In that same Eve-O thread, didn't someone post the numbers for the racial ship usage?

    IIRC, the caldari were rather sparse on the list while the other races showed a good spread. This indicates skewed metrics to determine the 'proliferation' of the drakes.

    It seems to me that the caldari only have one real ship choice to fly in large fleets such as the type described, while other races have options. Given that the adoption of the drake to 0.0 combat is largely in response to lag / HAC use, I personally find it silly to be giving the drake a hairy eyeball. How's about they look at the other caldari ships to provide an alternative, or.... fix the lag so that the advantage once again goes to the insta damage type ships.

    my $.02

  11. Simple question....Is the drake a stronger vessel than the others of it class?

    Of course it is overpowered. It's resists are stupid for a vessel of that level, even with a low level of skills.
    All Battlecruisers should have the same resists across the boards and have the same number of slots. Obviously some variations can be given but there is absolutely no reason why this ship has to be stronger than all the others in its class by such a large margin.