The October Release, scheduled for Tuesday the 9th, is slated to bring a whole bunch of what CCP Games is terming “light balance changes.” Some of the included changes are due to high demand from the community such as tweaks to the Damavik slot layout, and the new module Zero-Point Mass Entangler. However, other changes are seen as band-aids, such as removal of nullification on combat interceptors, and upside-down “new” ECM mechanics.

Interceptors – Fear Traveling, Again!

Half of the current line up of interceptors will be stripped of their primary uses by capsuleers, Interdiction nullification. Interdiction nullification is being removed from the following ships:

Some saving grace, Caldari’s Fleet Intercepter, the Crow, is having it’s Agility reduced to 3.25 (was 3.7). CSM 13 Winter Summit minutes note, “the Crow being the only fleet interceptor that can’t get a sub 2.0 align time, which throws it out of balance with the other fleet interceptors.” Hitting that critical sub-2 second align time, allows interceptors to “insta-warp” (achieving a sub 2.0 align time means the server has a single tick before placing the ship in warp).

CCP Justification

Polling Community feedback and transparency from CCP on why they make changes has grown tenfold this year. CSM 13 Winter Summit minutes have been release and with it some insight towards the changes to interceptors, as it looks to be direct suggestion from CSM 13 Brisc Rubal.

[N]ullification in general is controversial. Brisc Rubal would want to see every player make a choice when flying an interceptor, whether it is fast hard hitting ship or for travel.

The Judge pointed out that while CCP may find that interceptors usage stats look good, players only other opinion is to use a yacht. No mention of T3 cruisers were made. 

The goal of adding nullification was to give combat capabilities and encourage more use, and more activity.
– CCP Fozzie

During further discussion at CSM 13’s Winter meeting on Nullification, CCP Rise talked about how there is a range of things which could be done to change nullification, that isn’t the difficult part, but says that CCP still isn’t convinced that nullification is having a net negative effect on activity. It is noted within the minutes that, “answers CCP may get from the CSM is not necessarily the same as what the rest of the players may say about this, there may be different groups of players with different feelings about this.”

Closing Thoughts

There is a lot to take in, and trying to weigh the numerous ideas and suggestions on how to balance ‘combat nullification’ combo’ed with “insta-warp” isn’t the description of a dream job. After my own return to HighSec, interceptors became my way of returning to NullSec for day trips. While I utilize them mostly as worry-free ferry, should they only having the tank of a shuttle would have stopped my trips. Smart bombing gate camps are the current partial counter to travel-ceptors, a well tanked Raptor could bypass this tactic. With the nerf to the Crow, looks like I will need to have the corp fitter see if any of the other options can still achieve what the Raptor could do pre-patch.

In addition to this, the October release brings a number of visual fixes and improvements, as well as some changes that should increase performance, including the removal of area of effect damage when a titan class hull is destroyed.

* Author has updated the classification of the reduction in the Crow’s Agility to a buff.



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