There are few things in EVE Online which provoke more outrage among the playerbase than capital ship nerfs. These multi-billion ISK behemoths aren't just an investment in terms of currency -- being able to pilot a capital ship effectively is a time investment as well, given EVE's real time skill training system. The writing's been on the wall for a long time though. Considering the sheer numbers of capital ships being fielded in the game, some changes might just be a good thing for EVE Online.
EVE developer CCP Abathur's dev blog "Dominion - The Capital Battlefield" frames the current state of capital ship warfare with a look at how dreadnaughts and carriers entered the game, and how over time their significance was eclipsed by supercarriers like motherships and titans. The big announcements are the changes being made to the various classes of capital ships in EVE, and Abathur walks us through the boosts and nerfs that will soon affect the game's numerous capital ship pilots in the Dominion expansion.
- Titans: The comments made by CCP Games at PAX were accurate. Titan doomsday blasts will no longer be area of effect attacks. Rather they'll focus on a single target, resulting in instant annihilation for most sub-capital ships (possibly capital ships too). The titans themselves will have a hit point increase ensuring they can remain on the battlefield longer. There's no word yet on the cooldown between doomsday shots. Update: The rate of fire on doomsday blasts is currently 5 minutes. Firing the weapon immobilizes a titan for 30 seconds. In addition, the jump drive cannot be used for 5 minutes.
- Motherships: These ships will no longer be called "motherships" and will instead be called "supercarriers". They will lose the ability to fit triage modules and clone vat bays as well as the ability to fit an additional warfare link per level. Supercarriers will receive a hitpoint increase and a new type of weapon: fighter bombers.
- Fighter bombers: These new fighter drones will be used to destroy capital ships. Only supercarriers can deploy these torpedo launching drones, hopefully providing more incentive for mothership, er, supercarrier pilots to actually bring their ships into battle.
- Carriers: These ships aren't being changed as a class in Dominion, but CCP still has changes in mind for the future. In the short term, the duration and fuel consumption of triage modules have been halved.
- Fighter bays: Similar to the specialized bays for fuel and other storage recently added to the game, Dominion will bring bays for fighters and the new fighter bombers. Abathur states this is a way to better organize your drones and balances the number of drones a carrier or supercarrier can bring to a fight.
- Dreadnaughts: The changes announced recently about EVE moving away from a game where player owned space stations are key to territorial control and shifting more towards infrastructure and planetary control might have worried some dreadnaught pilots. Their roles will remain unchanged in Dominion, and they'll continue to be the POS bashing, anti-capital ships they've always been. If you're a Moros pilot though, you'll likely be upset to learn that you'll only get your drone damage bonus while in siege mode.