Players have been voicing their concerns about Black Ops ships being underpowered for quite a while (almost for as long as Black Ops are in game). People complain, that BO are weaker than their Tech I counterparts, have limited jump range and so on. When CCP run the crowdsourcing poll to see what areas of the game need improvement, Black Ops were quite high on the list.
One might wonder, did CCP really just overlook this group in Crucible, or was this intentional? Are Black Ops ships really this ineffective?
The answer is: Not really.
Black Ops are Tech II battleships, which cost as much as a carrier, have on-board jump drive, no targeting delay after decloaking and can bridge other ships into the fray. They are already quite powerful, and the reason why they are not so commonly used is only their price rather than their capabilities. A skilled team of pilots can destroy almost any target by dropping a gang of BO, recons and T3s.
The voice of concerns claim that Black Ops jump range is too short. I say it’s ok. Give them more range, and people begin hot dropping to anywhere in New Eden straight from Jita. Do we really need an unstoppable gang of battleships that are able to deploy instantly almost anywhere in the game?
Others ask for T2 resists, because the ship is too expensive to be paper thin. Au contraire, mes amis: repelling a BO hot drop is already quite hard as it is, and when done properly, no Black Ops losses should happen at all in a fight. In my opinion, the EHP and resists are just fine.
Some players claim, that the DPS is not high enough. Then I ask you this: since when 700 DPS is low for a Battleship? Mind that a covert hot drop might also have some tiny, cloaky, ultra-mobile DPS called Stealth Bombers. Having the element of surprise on your side, you don’t really need a lot of DPS.
The list of complaints contains one more issue: fuel bay capacity. As it is right now, fuel bay capacity is sufficient for ship’s own jump drives, but when it comes to bridging other ships, fuel runs out pretty quickly. IMHO this is the only valid concern and should be looked into. With the current fuel constraints, bridging one recon to the furthest reach of the Black Ops range (4.5 ly) takes as much as a third of the total fuel. Players of EVE are a resourceful bunch, when it comes to adapting, so they just take a Blockade Runner full of isotopes with them just to remedy this issue. In my eyes this should not however be necessary. Either the fuel bay should be increased in capacity, or the amount of fuel required for bridging should be reduced.
And one more thing: if you think the points above are not valid, please see Burn Eden’s killboard. This group has mastered the art of using Black Ops (and other jump capable ships) to perfection.
I will be answering here to let others see my replies as well:
@RockCalledSteve: 700 /is/ low for a battleship. It is, however, perfect for a stealth ship. Also, we don’t want massive range, just 2 extra AU.
Well, 700 dps indeed is not a lot, my Talos can fling about 700 dps over 40km while travelling at 700 m/s. But 700 dps with the element of surprise is… Well, a very nasty surprise.
2 extra lightyears after the Jump Drive Calibration skill is applied, or before? I would vote after the skill, because 6.5 ly gives BO almost regional range. Please mind that Black Ops can be safely deployed from high sec, and capital ships cannot. Increasing jump range makes them even safer to deploy, but yes, this would also allow more tactics.
I know that Sin is the weakest BO, but it was the first one I had the skills for when they were introduced (this is why there is Sin on the screenshots). Nowadays I’m flying a Panther instead.
The reason I have picked up this topic is because I am concerned. This is similar to what happened to Motherships (which are now known as Supercarriers). Players were not using them, because of their pricetag and only slightly better stats than normal Carriers. Community was complaining and CCP listened to these complaints. Result of the buff made Supercarriers the biggest solo pwnmobiles in EVE to the date. Of course, other part of the EVE Community began complaining about SCs being overpowered. Black Ops are very specific flavour of ships and it is very easy to make them too powerful. This in turn will result in nerfbat hitting them sooner or later…
What do You think? Should CCP buff the BO or leave them be? Comments are welcome.